Sound Advice: PAWS with Smut (April 19)

Scottish Punk Pop trio swings by MOTR Pub

click to enlarge PAWS - PHOTO: FLETCH
Photo: Fletch
PAWS

If you knew nothing about PAWS and heard them on the radio for the first time, you’d swear that the trio had some direct connection to the blustery Southern California Punk/Pop movement of the ’90s. But all your oaths would be in vain because beyond fandom and influence, PAWS is about as far from California as a band can get, being a product of Scotland’s vibrant music scene. To be fair, though, if the first PAWS song you heard was something from last year’s brief but potent No Grace, your SoCal radar was fairly well tuned: The band’s third album for FatCat Records was produced to an anthemic turn by blink-182 bassist Mark Hoppus.

PAWS was formed in Glasgow seven years ago by guitarist/vocalist Phillip Taylor, bassist Matthew Scott and drummer Josh Swinney from the ashes of A Copenhagen Hope. After a year of local, regional and festival shows, and a handful of homemade cassettes, PAWS was signed to FatCat and they recorded their 2012 debut full-length, Cokefloat!, at Lightship95, a studio housed on an actual ship moored in a London harbor. The next year saw the group hit the road with the likes of The Cribs and Japandroids, and the trio’s incendiary stage presence earned PAWS a top spot on Spin’s “Top 50 Best Acts at SXSW 2013” listing.

Scott left the band in 2013 and Ryan Drever took his place in time for PAWS’s second U.S. tour and the recording of the band’s sophomore album, Youth Culture Forever, resulting in a second nomination for the Scottish Album of the Year Award. PAWS released its first live album in 2014, the same year as the infamous Morrissey dust-up, which is a long and entertaining story and well documented online.

PAWS toured briefly in support of No Grace last summer, after which Drever opted out of the band and was replaced by John Bonnar. Given PAWS’s previous timelines, it’s conceivable that it could be working on new material, but right now the group can pack any set with enough power to run an average sized city for a day and a half. Cali, Glasgow or Timbuktu, it’s all Punk to PAWS and that’s all that really matters.

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