DUDE YORK and PAWS

with guests

DudeYork

Dude York’s Sincerely opens with a blast—the massive opening chords of “Black Jack,” a squealing track that blends the swagger of glam with the heavy riffing and ringing hooks of arena rock. The Seattle-based trio—Peter Richards on guitar and vocals, Claire England on bass and vocals, and Andrew Hall on drums—is announcing itself with an album that couches its themes of anxiety and eroding mental health in rock tracks that amp up the sweetly melodic crunch of powerpop with massive distortion and bashed-to-heck drums. Sincerely is a loud, sweaty rebuke to those moments in life when it seems like nothing’s working, a testament to the power of friendship, staring problems directly in the face, and finding solace in art.

Richards, England, and Hall have been through a lot during their four years of playing together, and tracks like the speedy, dark “Paralyzed,” the Creedence-echoing “Twin Moons,” and the frustrated yet ebullient “Something in The Way” combines lyrics that play on the trio’s travails with jumpy, riff-heavy distorto-pop. England handles lead vocal duties on the zinging kiss-off “Tonight” and the slowly grinding “Love Is,” the first time she’s done so on a Dude York record. “Times Not on My Side,” an intimate farewell note sung atop jangling acoustic, caps the album.

A first pass at a home-recorded version of Sincerely led to the band being told that there was “drywall in every piece of [the record],” says Hall, and they had to go back to the drawing board. Longtime Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill producer John Goodmanson and JR Slayer (aka The Blood Brothers’ Cody Votolato) helped Dude York craft a record that captured the energy of their live show while finding new ways to expand upon its ideas.

The band’s thoughtful approach to putting together Sincerely’s songs echoes the album’s overarching themes of almost-punishing inward focus.

“I feel like it’s about losing perspective—a spiraling-inward perspective despite what may be ready support networks around you,” adds Richards. “It’s like, ‘I don’t need anybody’s help. I should be able to do this myself, because it’s just, like, living.'”

Bringing England’s straightforward drawl into the mix underscores that idea, and its contrast to Richards’ excited yelp heightens the tension on Sincerely, a chaotic, yet ultimately triumphant album that’s a vital tonic for these increasingly confused times.

“Your back’s against the wall,” says Richards, “so all you can do is fight.”

PAWS

PAWS are Phillip Taylor, Josh Swinney and John Bonnar.

In 2012 the band released the Misled Youth EP followed shortly by their debut full length album Cokefloat!, which garnered critical acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork, The BBC and SPIN. That album, recorded by ex-Test Icicle, Rory Attwell on the boat/studio “Lightship95,” introduced the band’s explosive songwriting to the world, boiling down emotionally charged lyrics with the whiplash snap of punk. The band soon after toured with Japandroids, We Are Scientists and The Cribs and their live show proves time and again their comfort on the stage, leading SPIN Magazine to place the band at number four on their “Top 50 Best Acts at SXSW Festival in 2013.”

PAWS’ second album, Youth Culture Forever marked a significant change in strength and mood for the band. Recorded live in a home studio in the woods in upstate New York, the album captured the Scottish trio in their element. Fiercely loud and brutally raw, YCF also demonstrated emotional and dynamic depths that added new shades and colours to the sound already developed on their debut album, resulting in a record of renewed confidence and even greater scope. The band were also very humbled to see Youth Culture Forever become their second album to be nominated for The Scottish Album Of The Year Award.

The tour that followed pushed the band to new heights as musicians, continuing to forge a strong, united bond together, forcing them to dig deeper than ever before to keep their heads above water, especially when the consequences of constant travel and unfortunate circumstances reared their ugly heads. That tour, in all its theft grief and toil, cemented the idea in the band’s collective mind that in order to make something work, against all odds, you’ve gotta go big or go home….

Which brings us to album number three.

No Grace.

More than just the third PAWS record, No Grace is representative of a
transformative period of time in the bands life and is the
gravel-throated affirmation of that ‘do it or die’ attitude that
informs any great work of passion.

It’s the song you sing when you get kicked in the teeth; the decision
you make to get back on your feet and rattle off another punch; it’s
the humility of defeat and the ecstasy of triumph because you never
gave up.

But more than anything, it’s the sound of the pure fucking energy and
joy that comes from making something with your whole heart.

As well as being a statement of intent, No Grace was that opportunity
to go big or go home. So PAWS went big.

After discovering a mutual appreciation between themselves and
bassist/producer Mark Hoppus (Blink 182/+44), PAWS enlisted his
support to help push these new songs to their wildest heights and pack
the heftiest punch they could muster.

And from the eponymous opener and first single, ‘No Grace’, it’s clear
the two are a perfect fit. Recorded last summer between Chem 19 in
Glasgow and a private studio in Somerset, it’s a partnership that
strikes hard through the core of the record, from the anthemic gut
punch of ‘N/A’ to the thrashed out madness of ‘Salt Lake’ and
‘Complete Contempt’, PAWS third album distills the best of what came
before it and builds on it with strength and confidence.

Like its been bottled up and shaken every day for the past year and
shot out point blank with every press of the play button.

These songs soar; they fill your head, swell in your heart,
rumble in your belly and consume all available space in your ear
canals.

But more than all of these things, No Grace is what happens when
instead of back down or giving in, you turn the fuck up.

We encourage you to do the same.


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