PAUW
(ST)
2014
Crank this to 8.8 of 11
Genre:
Psychedelic rock
Sounds Like:
The Wellwater Conspiracy, Black Mountain, Tame Impala
Dutch band PAUW have brought back that 60s or early seventies vibe to the present day psychedelic rock world. Their debut EP is an exciting body of work; from the album art to the music… it’s a complete package, even though it’s an EP. Consisting of three band members, Rens Ottink: Drums/Vocals, Brian Pots: Guitar/Lead vocals and Gerben Bielderman: Bass/Keys/Vocals, together they have created four beautifully structured, trippy psychedelic songs for us to get lost in. The production is spot on; it has a lo-fi feel without sounding too independent, as it’s the perfect sound quality for this style of music.

Track Listing:

1. Shambhala – 6:45
2. Abyss – 6:05
3. Punch Drunk – 3:14
4. A Siren – 12:34

We begin our experience with “Shambhala,” and this will pull you in right away, we have no doubt about it. This song graces us with a spaced-out, Middle Eastern sound. The vocals are highly impressive complimenting the music very well, drifting softly above the music, creating a mesmerizing, tranquil effect. At about the 4 minute mark, things takes a turn towards a soft, open jam and the flute that appears towards the end is a wonderful addition. The song ends so different then the beginning, showcasing the bands’ passion for exploration. On track two “Abyss,” we are treated to a delightful trip as this song will grab hold of you. Halfway through this song on our first listen we were highly impressed with the musicianship, they are the real deal. The clapping in this song is such a brilliant addition, creating more layers and likeability to the album. It’s the attention to detail that makes them a captivating band.

Moving on to the heavy, psych blues of “Punch Drunk,” this one seems to have a Black Angels quality to it. The keys and bass play an important role in this song, and with the addition of the stoner-driven guitar, it all comes together flawlessly. The closing track “A Siren” is simply flat-out great. It runs at 12:34 minutes long, and is filled with so much richness as the music is trippy and very colorful. The echoed drumming, piano and the vocals are so appealing. The song will actually drift to a close at the 6:00 minute mark, but hold on; we are treated to a sweet psychedelic jam after a brief pause. Normally we can’t stand when a song pauses for a while and comes back for a short ditty, it drives us nuts. We must say, we didn’t get that feeling here, the pause is short and the jam is spectacular. It starts with some echoed guitar fading in than gives way to a steady infectious bass. The drums come rolling in and the song starts to take off. The bass and drums keeps things grounded as they don’t let up one bit. The music on top is a spacious trip, with psychedelic guitars, synths and a well-timed flute from time-to-time, it has a Hawkwind kind of feeling and leaves us wanted a bit more.

PAUW have released a very impressive EP that is sure to turn heads. We look forward to following their career and already yearn for a full-length. Their music is very broad and inviting while keeping an edge.  They will appeal to all fans of rock, so we urge you to seek them out, you will not be disappointed. - 1/2/2015

Standout Tracks:
Abyss, Punch Drunk
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