No Grace is the latest record from Scottish trio Paws. Soft and cuddly they are not – instead their third full length album is a thumping piece of punk rock, produced by Blink-182‘s Mark Hoppus. It’s an album of reflection, portraying the band’s growth as well as a general ‘can do’ attitude.
The follow up to 2014’s Youth Culture Forever, No Grace is steeped in even more passion than before, with the band going full throttle. Evidence of Hoppus’ input comes through in moments akin to that early Blink sound, but don’t be mistaken, this is Paws’ journey and no one else’s. No Grace rages with a raw energy, serving each song like a welcome fist to the face. To put it a little more delicately, this is a record that grabs your attention, and rightly so. It’s a statement; “we’re still here, loud and proud”, quite literally with “no grace”, and that’s just the damn beauty of it all.
Kicking off with thrashing guitars from the start, Paws go hard; it’s like there’s no other possible way. It’s fair to say such an aggressive approach is an acquired taste, but top marks for sticking to their guns and refusing relent at any moment. Their punchy sound is the perfect antidote to a bad day, best suited to letting off steam, whether that be in a crowd of people or a lonesome air guitar/drum session. Instrumental ‘Salt Lake’ is a great one for this, an up tempo beat with crazed riffs, and you can imagine this heavy breakdown will go down a storm when played live in Paws’ upcoming shows.
Overall No Grace carries a feel good, get up and go energy, and though there’s room for a little more variety, one thing that’s undeniable is the consistency of the album. It all remains on theme, and the closing songs are just as exciting as those at the start. This is a real testament to Paws’ hard work through thick and thin, an album fuelled with passion that just keeps on growing.
No Grace is out now via Fat Cat Records.