Seaport Music Festival: White Fence and PAWS

WhiteFence_PAWSFriday, June 14, 2011  7:00 PM

South Street Seaport Music Festival
South St New York, NY


“Tim Presley is a member of the bands Darker My Love and the Strange Boys, which do variations of dirtied-up psychedelic pop. White Fence is his third band and much more idiosyncratic. It’s just Mr. Presley making songs as complicated as he wants, with his multitracked asthmatic voice and his gift for weird, wayward song hooks. On White Fence, just released on CD by Woodsist, drum rhythms stumble and recohere; chord changes are half-forgotten or blown altogether. Audio quality changes from track to track or even in the middle of a song, and so does the music’s speed. The album sounds as if it were mastered on a cassette machine with failing batteries. This whole enterprise is way, way moth eaten: the Syd Barrett/1960s Los Angeles garage-punk influences, the dirty-on-purpose sound quality, the overmodulated guitar leads.

By a certain logic it should be a stone loser. But so much in music comes down to conviction. There’s something ritual about these songs, as if Mr. Presley had been carrying them in his head, with all their details, for a long time. Listen even once, and they’re hard to shake. All of Mr. Presley’s strange touches start to seem significant and obsessively desired: a short background sigh, a few seconds of harmonica or xylophone, a new strain plopped into the middle of a song that leads nowhere, a guitar solo that’s longer than it needs to be. It’s mannered and indirect music, but he’s a poet of that.”

— BEN RATLIFF, The New York Times


PAWS live in Glasgow, with members respectively from Tain (Highlands of Scotland), Edinburgh, and Glasgow. The band is made up of Philip, Joshua and Matthew.

The band bash out infectious, lo-fi, garage pop-rock that can quickly shift from cute melancholia to an unnerving territorial roar. On top of the pulsating fuzzy noise the 3 piece produce, sit dreamy melodies that bare the bones of their author. Lyrical topics slide between sarcastic self-analysis and, onto more so than often, brutal home truths.

Their energetic live show highlights the dynamics in their music and lyrics – soft, warm, and comforting verses that lead you unknowingly into a vicious, claws out attack from the chorus. Their vibrant music and live performances have built up a strong history of audience interaction and participation.

Young and prolific, PAWS are keen to share their music with as many people as possible. (SMF)