Sacred Paws - Strike A Match

by Steve Reynolds Rating:9 Release Date:2017-01-27

The stripped back sound of guitar music but with added splashes of bass heavy rhythms and bright shiny positivity: that’s what you’ll be lavished with when you open up to the first few bars of Strike A Match, the second album by duo Sacred Paws who are Eilidh Rodgers (drums and vocals) and Rachel Aggs (Guitar and Vocals).Signed to the marvellous Rock Action label and if I’m not mistaken (research done), this is their first proper album, which may be down to the disparate location of the members: one is based in Glasgow and the other in London.

Rachel’s distinct vocal joviality can be aligned to her other bands (Trash Kit / Shopping) and the accompanied edgy, jiggy guitar is stealthy and strong in Sacred Paws as well but with another line of minimal but urgent attack sorties. Eilidh is in riot girl outfit Golden Grrrls and her tub thumping intensity and effectiveness is the underpinning strength of Strike A Match.

They’d be lying if they didn’t admit to taking a few hints and tips from punk funk pioneers Delta 5 and on opener ‘Nothing’ which is packed with rhythm, hordes of dance-ability and a smattering of brass they breathe a huge shedload of freshness, fun and joy right into the brain.  An endorphin release of unequivocal boldness right from the offset.

The ability to make shiny happy indie pop music is core to what Sacred Paws stand by and when the duo unleash the handclap heavy ‘Everyday’ accompanied by a sea of passionate mellifluous chords and rumbustious drums the happiness continues to keep on giving.  The duel vocal of ‘Empty Body’ brings Eilidh’s soft vocal a podium finish and when sat next to Rachel’s much more direct approach they hold hands perfectly.  But it’s not all frenetic and the subtle lines of ‘Wet Graffiti’ with a slower rumbling kick of bass drums and beautiful array of intricate guitar play make for the stand out track on the album, aided by some rather ace lyrics as well: “we’re making mountains out of gas bills, we’re making mountains out of mole hills and everything seems so hard to pay and everyone seems so far away….do you wanna run away, I wanna run away”.

The off kilter maelstrom returns by way of the skittish album title track, pulling us all over the place and filling in every space possible, thus targeting a high octane visceral experience leaving us clambering for some much needed added CO2.  Definitely not one for the dance averse I’m afraid.

There’s a squall of seething keyboards on the angular ‘Stars’ adding a whole new dimension to the preceding songs but where you might think it could disrupt their tried and tested template it merely adds a few more kudos points to their value.

There are ten tracks in total on ‘Strike A Match’ but don’t let that put you off because this is a breathless serene affair and the final send offs that are ‘Ride’ and the beaming brassy playground chants of ‘Getting Old’ are representative of a band unafraid to push themselves by releasing a host of insurmountable slabs of awesome songs to fucking dance to.  Phew.

 

 

 

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