Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Album Review :: Sacred Paws - Strike A Match


Sacred Paws

Strike A Match

January 27 2017 (Rock Action) 


Words: Richard O’Hagan

Once upon a time, people used to advertise their willingness to travel for work by putting ‘distance no object’ on their adverts. Whilst that may have gone out of fashion, it is a concept which Sacred Paws are all too familiar with.

With singer and guitarist Rachel Aggs living in London and drummer Eilidh Rogers in Glasgow, ‘Strike A Match’ was written over the period since their previous band, Golden Grrrls, broke up in 2014 and on the rare occasions when the two of them could get together. Attempts to write and record over the internet having failed – the band cite the time delay over Skype as being particularly frustrating – it was down to 400-mile Megabus journeys to keep the creativity flowing, before ‘Strike A Match’ was pulled together in Glasgow under the watchful eye of Mogwai producer Tony Doogan.

The upshot is a record which remains fresh and vibrant from the opening bars of ‘Nothing’ to the closing ones of ‘Getting Older’. Aggs’ guitar jangles, Rogers thumps out some terrific – and at times brilliantly odd – rhythms and a horn section parps away merrily inbetween. It is as if every song is finding something to celebrate as the two bandmates rejoice in one another’s company, rather than becoming tired and jaded by it.

If there is one criticism to be made of this record it is that there isn’t too much to differentiate between the songs. Sacred Paws set up their chiming, Afrobeat-ish, sound and then don’t depart from it too much over the album’s ten tracks. Because the writing and musicianship are so good it isn’t a major problem, but it is also telling that the one track which really stands out is ‘Stars’, where the sound gets darker and heavier over an absolutely sublime performance from Rogers.

Given the difficulties that recording pose for the band it might be a while before we heard from them again, so get your paws on this offering whilst you can.

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