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PAWS / Youth Culture Forever

April 25, 2014

Written by: Jasen Ribadenera

PAWS

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Youth Culture Forever

PAWS’ new album, Youth Culture Forever, sounds like it was recorded inside a big empty jar of Folgers Crystals, and that’s a fitting description given that they’re punk rock’s answer to instant coffee. They’re okay, elicit a minor buzz, but in the end you still find yourself cursing the creep who knocked over and shattered your french press.
Youth Culture Forever is twelve tracks of modern day pop punk that one would expect to be playing, at a reasonable volume, in a Journeys sneaker store. The moments when PAWS turn their focus away from how many times they can rhyme “whoa oh oh ohhh” with the word “go” and proceed to attack their instruments with little/no regard for the style which otherwise predicts every note is where things start getting interesting (“War Cry”).  Other than that, the band sounds like any other number of indie/punk torch carriers that are now relegated to the embarrassing and offensive festival scenes of Riot Fest or the Warped Tour. “An Honest Romance” got stuck in my head for an hour after hearing it and it’s evident that they have a knack for writing great melodies but that gets bogged down by the fact that there’s nothing within that sets them apart from the thousand others bands that pray Pennywise will never break up. I guess what I’m really trying to say here is that if I wanted to listen to the Menzingers I would listen to the Menzingers.

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