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Paws

Cokefloat (Fat Cat Records)

Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013 Records

Paws

Cokefloat! (Fat Cat Records)

On Paws' first LP, the young Scottish trio sinks pop hooks into hazy, lyric-driven grunge. Singer/guitarist Phillip Taylor's walkie-talkie vocals wail sentimental diary entries of childhood recollections, grudges, and emotional baggage with surprising success. Often it's literal, like the ode-to-my-deadbeat-dad slow jam "Get Bent," where Taylor sings: "Fuck you, I don't need you anyway/I've tried and tried and tried to get through/If you don't even know my favorite food or animal, how can I depend on you?" Paws' scrappy rhythm section provides a decent backdrop for Taylor's quadruple-tracked guitar riffs and wordy prose. From the Nirvana-esque "Tulips" to noise-punk screamer "Winners Don't Bleed" and dialed-down indie pop of "Sore Tummy," Cokefloat! shows range, though nothing special in terms of execution. If Taylor can stay honest and vulnerable while the band matures musically, they have the potential to do great things. (10pm, Latitude 30; Thu., 11pm, Valhalla)

**.5

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