Morrissey-baiting Glasweigan indie punk trio PAWS’ second LP Youth Culture Forever opens with something of a curveball. Erreur Humaine starts out deceptively bluesy until stabs of grunge guitar kick the record into life. It combines alternating whispers of cello and huge guitar blasts with a charming tendency to try and fit too many syllables into each reverb-soaked lyric.

Second track ‘Tongues” tumbling drums set the pace for the rest of the record with New Fellas era-Cribs shoutalong pop punk. The subtle harmonies of the bridges in Give Up suggest there’s more to the way the vocals are drenched in reverb than a lazy shorthand for how they’re really into Phil Spector, honest. Alone makes good on that promise, its Wall of Sound on a budget production more than making up for the lyrical clangers that pepper the first half of the album (“Believe I don’t hate you/Sorry I said I hate you/You said it too/What did you expect me to do” for starters).

An Honest Romance’s satisfyingly wonky riffing is over too soon with a little delayed guitar riff that leaves you wishing for another blast of that impossibly catchy chorus. After a couple more blasts of Buzzcocks punk, ‘Great Bear’ is a lovely little instrumental riff-fest that provides a welcome change of pace.

Penultimate track YCF’s Daniel Johnston style shoebox production leads nicely into final track War Cry, a song surely destined to close every gig they will ever play. The rest of the record is completely blown out of the water with a primal scream and deafening grunge collapsing into feedback. The final Cloud Nothings-esque passage is an absolute delight, the earlier lyrical fumbling a distant memory. A staggering closer to a cracking record.

7 out of 11

Release Date 02/06/2014 (Fatcat Records)

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Andy Vine

Like all cis-male atopic half Welshmen, I'm a big fan of shouty indie, noisy drone and the daytime Radio 1 playlist. Outside of punk rock my primary interests are tea (white no sugar please) and beer (brown no sugar please). When I'm not writing about stuff for Silent Radio I'm occasionally doing my own stuff which you can read about at if you want (you should).