The Dirty Dozen – May 2012
The Magnetic Fields – Quick! (Domino, 7 May)
Phillip: This is The Magnetic Fields? It doesn’t sound like them.
(The Skinny quickly checks the stereo to ensure there’s not been an embarrassing mix-up)
Phillip: Yeah I like it. I do like Stephin Merritt. It’s got a good sound. It would fit well on a skate video or something like that. It’s got a happy, dozy feel to it that I like. I’ll give it a seven. We’re off to a good start.
Trailer Trash Tracys – Los Angered (Double Six, 7 May)
Phillip: Nah, I'm not digging this. It's a bit lacklustre. I've heard their name a bunch of times, but this isn't really for me. I'll give it a four.
Reptar – Stuck In My ID (Lucky Numbers, Out Now)
Phillip: This isn't for me. This blows. It sounds too much like MGMT. It even references MGMT on the press release. It's the sort of thing I can imagine people at a festival would enjoy. I'll give it a three.
Theme Park – 2 Hours (Transgressive, 7 May)
Phillip: I don’t really like his voice. The guitars are cool, which is good. I could see myself skating to this if it was an instrumental. That’s how I generally judge new music, whether I could skate to it. But that vocal really isn’t doing it for me. It could have done with a stronger take, it sounds a bit half-assed. For that, I'll give it a five.
Kick To Kill – Avalanche (Flowers In The Dustbin, 14 May)
Phillip: [reading press release aloud] 'A genuine successor to Joy Division and The Stooges'. I’m intrigued. This had better be good, that’s a pretty big claim to make. I don’t see how you can be like The Stooges and Joy Division, so I can’t agree with that quote. Everything in this song is at exactly the same pace. I was expecting a big chorus or something. I enjoy bits of this – it’s got a good bass line. But if you’re going to put quotes like that out in the press release, then you’re really going to have to match up. And this doesn’t, I don’t think. So I’ll give it a five.
Patrick Watson – Into Giants (Domino, Out Now)
Phillip: I’m not going to lie, it’s not the kind of thing that I would go home to listen to. I’m usually pretty cynical when it comes to any kind of acoustic singer/songwriter. But this is good, I like the production. It’s well arranged. I think this is something that Matt [PAWS bassist] would really like. It’s impossible for me to give this a fair score. I’ll give it a five. I think Matt would have given it at least two more.
Diagrams – Ghost Lit (Full Time Hobby, 7 May)
Phillip: This might sound like a bizarre observation to make, but his voice reminds me of the bassist in Bloc Party. I think it could have done with more ‘oomph’, it’s just trundling along aimlessly. Poor lyrics. It’s boring. I think it’s worth a three. I feel awful judging people’s music like this! [laughs]
The Wind-Up Birds – Cross Country (Sturdy, 14 May)
[30 seconds into the single, and there’s no sound coming from The Skinny’s speakers. There’s an awkward silence]
The Skinny: We’ve got a bit of a problem, there doesn’t appear to be any sound coming from this CD.
Phillip: [laughs] Well this gets a zero! So much for Sturdy records. They’re not so sturdy are they?
Bang On! – Fars Yer Whoop (Big Dada, 7 May)
Phillip: What the fuck does Fars Yer Whoop mean? Are they from Aberdeen or something? No, I would never listen to this, not ever. Turn it off. Why is it that on so many supposed rap or RnB tunes, everyone’s voice sounds the same? Why do they all insist on using vocoders? I do like hip-hop, but not this. This I can’t deal with. I retreat from that kind of vocal. It’s just not me at all. It gets a two.
Lower Dens – Propagation (Ribbon, 14 May)
Phillip: Everything has been so slow in these singles. I like fast music. I mean I like all kinds of music, but the majority of these singles have had a lazy theme. Having said that, this sounds a lot better than most of the others. The production is good, the vocals are good. But it’s too sleepy. I’m not feeling this at all, it’s too spaced out.
Richard Hawley – Leave Your Body Behind You (Parlophone, 7 May)
Phillip: I’ve never heard of him. [studies press release] But he’s on Parlophone. According to this, the single sounds like the 13th Floor Elevators. I do like the 13th Floor Elevators, so he’s got that to live up to. It sounds like Oasis – I mean, not like an Oasis song, but the guitars – although I do like that bass line. I think a majority of the releases so far have had that kind of slow, trippy vibe to them. I like urgency in music. And there’s been nothing like that so far.
The Skinny: What do you think the other guys in the band would make of this?
Phillip: I think Josh (PAWS drummer) would have liked the psychedelic feel of it and parts of the music. I don’t think he would have enjoyed the vocal, but I don’t think he would be hating on it. I’m giving it a four.
Single of the Month: Rachel Sermanni – Eggshells (Middle of Nowhere, 14 May)
Phillip: I generally don’t listen to much folk or singer-songwriters, but I can really relate to this song. It reminds me of home. It speaks to me, because she’s from up north. I like this because I can picture the landscape when she’s singing. The north of Scotland is such a barren fucking place, but there’s a lot of creative spirit bubbling under up there.
It’s not often you meet people that just decide ‘fuck it’ and want to make a go of it. I remember seeing Rachel at a festival, when she was working on a burger van. I was asking her what she was doing after the summer, was she going to uni etc. But she was like 'Nah, I’m moving to Glasgow to play guitar.' It’s the ethic I admire.
People from up north can be so hard on themselves. In Glasgow, in big cities, if a project doesn’t work out, people will generally wait a while and try again or at least try something different. But up north, people seem to give up if it doesn’t work out. People are going to hate on me for this, the punk band giving the single of the month to a folk singer, but this gets 10 out of 10.
Listen to the tracks from PAWS' forthcoming 5-track Misled Youth cassette (available via Fat Cat on 14 May) exclusively below.