Thursday, 3 November 2011

Album review: PAUS

I gave up on doing album reviews, because they were never my finest pieces of work and they weren't always well received.
However, after hearing this album, I had to review it.

It comes from Portuguese band PAUS, a 4-man band, which consists of, according to them, "A siamese drumset, a bass bigger than your mother and keyboards that make you feel things."

Gotta love that, right? The unusual dual drumset lineup means that this album is heavy with drums, which is never bad.

First track is Ouve Só (Just Listen). A very immediate starter, very quick action. Short on vocals, it bases itself on the drumming and some background synths until it all sorta blows up in a dubsteppy bass wobble, morphing back into more epic sounds, which lasts till the end,

Next comes Muito Mais Gente (A Lot More People). This one a bit more "rocky" than the previous one, and it's more vocal aswell. Very well worked here, hard but not too much.

PAUS - Muito Mais Gente [click to download] |HTML5|

Following right behind is Língua Franca. Once again, "rockier" than the previous one, but slower.
This instrumental is well done, however it can get a bit repetitive in the middle section, but that's pretty much the only complaint I have about it.

Coming next is Deixa-me Ser (Let me Be). Best on the album and certainly the one that causes more buzz.
The catchy guitar riff, the looping rythm, the drum solo. All of those elements make up for an extremely catchy track that reminds me of Summer festivals and good times all around.

PAUS - Deixa-me Ser [click to download] |HTML5|

After that is Malhão. Named after a tradicional folk song, it has nothing folky about it. It starts off a bit slow, but it soon speeds up into a very distorted track, but once again, without exaggeration and with a few vocals thrown in aswell. Not bad.

The following is Descruzada (Uncrossed). It's the drumming that makes this one really good to me. Add in some pseudo-psychadelic guitars and noises and you get a fantastic track, along with a breakdown that is perfect to be played in live shows, going back to the first half sound, with little changes.
Second best in the album.

PAUS - Descruzada [click to download] |HTML5|

Then we have Ocre (Ochre). By no means bad, it's the worst of the lot for me, if I had to pick one.
It just is a bit too messy and doesn't have the flow that the others have. It's a bit all over the place, both the drumming and the remaining sounds, with too much distortion towards the end aswell.
Not my cup of tea.

Finally, we have Tronco Nu (Bare Chest). A fitting finisher, it gives that ending sensation that you want from final songs. The organs halfway sure help, along with the choir-like vocals in the background.
Proper way to finish the album. I could do without the fucked up 8-bit noises after the end of the track though, but you can edit those out easily.

In conclusion, I give this album a solid 8. It's short and entertaining, which is want you want from debut albums. The fact that most tracks have little or no vocals helps to get the internacional appeal.
I want to see where these guys can go, because Portuguese bands that make this sort of music, and do it well, are very rare and the ones who do it right deserve recognition.


Comments are appreciated,


The Robot said...

You never actually mention the name of the album, I don't think. Is it self-titled?

Alex said...

Yeah, it is.