I’ve been a bit unhealthily obsessive about PAWS lately, but if Cokefloat! is not nominated for next year’s Mercury Music Prize I will stare blankly in puzzlement. Then continue to try to plug it and the band to whoever will listen. Dear reader, it has given me two weeks of listening enjoyment so far and there is much more in there.
It is a true album of songs that will take you on a sonic journey. Loss of a parent, childhood bullying and family breakdown are not funny things. They are not invented either. It is a disarmingly open debut. It may take you on a melodic, grunge light, radio friendly first half (or side A for us vinyl folk) to a side B with some really tasty thrash in a 4 song climactic finale before a comedown with Poor Old Christopher Robin that could raise the hair on the back of your neck.
After every few listens I’ve found a different favourite song. Jellyfish, Bloodline, Catherine 1956… Until, deciding there’s not a bad track and, loving most, I realised that it stands as a work of art. And I’m serious about that. It’s uplifting and intelligent loud music and feels like listening to a personal internal monologue of survival. It’s a special thing for that too.
The cover is a self portrait of Jessica Penfold, a friend of the band and comic artist. Why? To help publicise her! A gimmick? I really don’t think so. This is how they roll. They tour on the floors of fans. (Mind you, I think they may live like that in Glasgow). They’re hard travellin’! Phil has his own cassette tape based record label (Cath Records) and seems to have created a Glasgow Underground of like-minded talent.
In the age of manufactured bands, these guys are really real. No airs or graces. The music is real. The passion is real. The songs are lyrically heartbreaking but with not an ounce of self pity. There is honest rage, hard strumming and an uplifting defiance and positive energy in all of the songs. They are a band that literally say ‘don’t fuck with me’. And that’s as punk as it gets.
You can listen to the whole album here: Cokefloat!/listen and make up your own mind.
We’ve ordered plenty in. On vinyl and CD. But there has been a delay in the vinyl. You can pre-order or just say hello to George and me (Darren) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fatcat Records have kindly sent us a signed Limited Edition Cokefloat! poster and T-shirt which we will competition off in a special Christmas colouring-in competition! Meanwhile we have the Song, by Toads Split 12″ album that has 4 PAWS tracks. We sold out of 7″ copies of PAWS single Lekker long ago. On friends of the shop GerryLovesRecords.
As a live experience PAWS are as rough and fierce as a backcombed cornered badger fighting the killers. They’re beautiful and contagious with loud energy. Their album launch in Glasgow was only £5 a ticket (supported by North American War). That’s incredible value. So whenever you go to see smaller bands at gigs please buy the merchandise and albums directly from the bands. The money will go a long way. Even with limited radio play, a small royalty cheque comes around only every 6 months.
Bird Inside Birdcage, Ribcage Inside Bird. Recorded as a Song, by Toad session just down the road in Raeburn Place. This will tickle you in the punk place of your psyche. Other artists including the beautifully gentle voiced Vashti Bunyan, who deserves a new genre all to herself, are also available in the shop. We only sell the good stuff.
PS If you know me and you don’t get hold of a copy of this, then I know what you’re getting for Christmas! Animal hands!