Review: Notes from the Undergound with Giant Paw – The Stars Are Ours

By on Monday, 9th March 2009 at 12:15 pm

Notes from the Underground is back, this time we’re looking at Giant Paw‘s latest release ‘The Stars Are Ours,’ with feral electronics…

Notes from the Underground with Giant Paw - The Stars are OursThis album truly is an exploration of sound whether it be the psychedelic feel of the 70s or the spoken word poetry on opener Flood. Entering this nine-track LP is like sitting on a roller coaster and taking a leap in to the darkness. It’s hard to define as the ever changing mood keeps the listener on their feet waiting to be surprised.

The Syd Barrett comparisons ring true in ‘Mosquito.’ The track is highly reminiscent of early Floyd and the high pitched animal noises that bark and screech in through the track add to the Floyd mood. The whistles and chirps of a country park persist through the record and mixed with the smooth flute on ‘Tea on the Lawn’ calmness prevails. Again there is a changing tone as the vocals for the most part are non existent aside from the random narrative and soothing humming. The complexities of the record are best shown through the intertwined instrumentals which so often take the lead in through the album.

‘Alarm Clock’ is more post-punk inspired mixed with dub and dance elements to create a lazily brilliant track. It’s Crystal Castles-esque in the way it’s laid back yet energetic all at the same time. ‘Skin Off Your Teeth’ is similar in it’s composition but the laid back stance reverts to the dancefloor-filling mayhem of earlier tracks.

‘Push The Light’ is the band’s very own ‘Interstellar Overdrive,’  a long tuned trip through everything psychedelics. This also brings out the Floydish tendencies which seem to hold the band back from further innovation. Whilst it may be as easy as a slag on the ear the band’s creativity seems to be impaired by their apparent attempt to create a Floyd-revival. Other tracks such as ‘Feral’ display the bands ability to look deeper beneath the surface of conformity but there is a repeated sense of ‘The Piper at the Gates..’ through the record and it needs to be addressed before the band can claim their own stripes.

Climatic ‘The Curse of the Giant Paw’ brings a fitting end to this avant garde-psychedelia which takes you from one new sound to the other. The heavy distortion and skillful keys make the album as a whole extremely listenable, and the number of sounds that the band achieve is something which must be merited. However the innovation at times seems forced and the striking similarities to Barrett make the record on the whole less remarkable.


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