Dearness – Accidental Gold
New Glaswegian jingle-jangle from PAWS' bassist Ryan Drever featuring ex-Minutemen legend Mike Watt
Here we have some brand new Glaswegian jingle-jangle from PAWS’ bassist Ryan Drever (he also happens to be a member of The List’s music reviewing super-squad).
It starts off with the appropriately titled ‘THAW, which sounds as if the 2002 end of year best-of list from Pitchfork.com liquefied and congealed into some melted T-1000 indie mass on a practice room floor in Glasgow’s West End – which is actually a pretty good thing. With its buried vocals, cranked treble and lo-fi bedroom musk, we’re delving into some early Superchunk from the get go, with maybe a pinch of the late, great Jay Reatard and the ever underrated Versus from NYC.
A pleasant guest vocal slot from ex-Minutemen legend Mike Watt on ‘Stationary Waves’ sounds like a sleep-talking Marlboro man after a night on the smash – an unexpected midway ditty for sure. Isn’t it nice when legends just pop up to mark their territory in totally proactive manner, thus giving the second half of the EP a wee celebrity piggy back? There are some delightful moments on the uppity chorus of ‘It’s Ok You’re Fine’ or the beguiling ‘No One Knows (what the fuck they’re talking about)’ which taps into that washy awkwardness found on classic records like Weezer’s Pinkerton or most of maestro Stephen Malkmus’ output.
There’s probably enough going on here for both PAWS fans and older K Records buffs to get aroused for, but it’s a release which definitely lends itself to its format (a limited edition run of cassettes, plus Bandcamp streaming and some CDs too), the warm tape buzz throughout gives enough extra crunch and vocal disparity when required and said aesthetics can make a hell of a difference between the pedestrian and the listenable. Fortunately Dearness has managed to nail that part down like an awkward tent peg. If Drever could expand on some of the songwriting we could be onto something pretty gnarly in the near future – provided he keeps it scuzzy.