REVIEW: CLAWS – No SleepFrom the depths of a secret nuclear bunker explodes the debut EP of Norfolk 4-piece lo-fi grunge-pop band CLAWS. It was really hard to place this band into any one style or movement, No Sleep EP is a concatenation of 70’s wavy surf music and early 90’s grunge and punk, With no holds barred, this band just lay down what sounds good and it always does. Having supported some big names such as Nai Harvest and Slaves in their hometown of Norwich, CLAWS have produced four marvellous tracks for all to enjoy.
The opening song ‘To Be A Goth’ is the introduction track to the EP and doesn’t waste time by instantly injecting the melody of the song from the get go. The crunchy reverbed guitars in the background of the verse fit well with Josie’s clean vocal which then explode into a messy chorus of instruments that creates that signature heavy sound of CLAWS. The lyrics are infectious and everything about this first track screams single! Up next we have ‘Tango Hotel’ which feels like a nice continuation from the previous track. A thrashy guitar and bass sound shows off just how angsty they can be and the lead guitar parts during the chorus provide a beautiful melancholy which works well as a juxtaposition to the songs overall sound. Like before, CLAWS manage to write incredibly infectious hooks and this song is no different, it is another belter.
I’ll Never Learn comes in at number 3 on the EP. The lyrics are beautiful and honest and so damn catchy, the chorus is possibly the best on the EP and I think a lot of people can relate to it which makes this song that much more powerful. The guitar riffs from start to finish are FX driven and are reminiscent of early Weezer (can you tell I like Weezer?). The final song from the 4 track EP is ‘No Sleep’. Drums pound as a guitar riff again brings the song into a frenzy of fun and chaotic bass drum and vocals. Another banger to put on the résumé and clearly a great way to bring the EP to its conclusion.
For an EP that has been written in a live environment it really does provide a great soundscape where every instrument can be heard conducting its role appropriately. Mixed and Mastered by Conor Etteridge of Box of Light, No Sleep is a wonderful blend of all those sounds that were widely sought out throughout the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. Definitely a band worth keeping an eye on. This EP was recorded live with the full band straight to tape at Old School Studios in Norfolk. The clash of instruments works well with their sound and no melodies get lost over the crashing drums and well levelled vocals of Josie Steward. You can tell that this EP has been made with a lot of care and attention to detail as with every replay new sounds can be heard through the mix of each song.
You can find the No Sleep EP HERE