Album: Youth Culture Forever
Album Reviewer: Michael Mariscal
“Youth Culture Forever”. It’s not only the title of indie-rock band Paws latest album but also a line from the show Adventure Time. The title describes the album to perfection. ‘Youth Culture’ is rebellious, energetic, a culture that encourages getting drunk at a rock concert.
And if I were to get drunk at a rock concert, this album is precisely what I’d want playing. The music is loud, with the singer always borderline yelling, heavy guitar chords ringing and the drummer showcasing his apparent affinity towards the snare drum, an open hi-hat and the crash cymbal (he has quick hands too). It’s like the band is always trying to serve you red bull, the kind of caffeine-filled stuff you drink in at a concert, but the sort of artificial energy you don’t want to be force-fed in a studio album.
The worst examples of this comes on the song Give up. Here the drummer adds a loud fill every four measures to his already obnoxiously loud beat as the singer yells “It’s unfair, so fucking unfair” all over a tempo that’s just way too fast. The whole song is in desperate need of stripping down.
Not to forget War Cry, the twelve minute closer that quadruples the length of any other song on the album. The actual content of the song ends at the 2:20 mark. The rest of it is a ten minute jam on the same mediocre chord progression that even Phish would find excessive for a studio album.
Fortunately, the mistakes of the band on this album are saved by good songwriting and some quieter moments more friendly to a studio album. Acoustic title-track YCF is a beautiful ballad, and the folksy track Alone has a string-led outro that brings Radiohead to mind (ALWAYS a good association).
The talent of this band is there, and I would love to see them live, but this album leaves too much to be desired. I give it a 2.5.