Monday, October 02, 2023

PAWS’ New Single ‘One Nation Under DOG’ Is A Punk Rocker’s Letter to Modern Politics

PAWS – a Scottish alternative rock duo consisting of Phillip John Taylor and Joshua Swinney – are no strangers to flirting with a bit of political discourse in their music since their formation in 2012. 

Songs like 'Tongues' and 'Poor Old Christopher Robin' have some great hidden meanings bubbling under the surface, but with their latest track 'One Nation Under DOG', they've certainly opted for a less subtle approach. 

'One Nation Under DOG' is nostalgically reminiscent of the early days of Fall Out Boy and Green Day – full of rumbling guitars and angry, helpless lyrics that almost fall over each other. Snippets of Panic! At The Disco's 'Pretty Odd' also shine through, particularly in the dancing lyrics and theatrical strings. 

The raw energy can only be described as "demo punk rock": the kind of music local punk rock bands premiere at open mic nights and student band competitions – but more refined.

That being said, the message behind the sound is not something that can be dismissed as new to the scene. Incredibly direct and to-the-point, lyrics such as "Everyone and their dog / sifting through what could be fake news or not / The tip of the iceberg is melting fast / I'm waiting for the wave to pass" express lyricist Taylor's discontent at current affairs and hatred of the ever-chugging propaganda-fuelled capitalist train. In case these feelings weren't clear enough the first time around, the duo's animalistic chant of "fuck the cops!" should probably do the trick.

Exposing political shortcomings through music is not something new by any means; artists like Sam Fender and Declan McKenna have done a great job of this over recent years, and PAWS continue to solidify their involvement in this movement. Using music to show solidarity with the people is something that audiences love from their favourite artists, and although 'One Nation Under DOG' has a prominent theme of losing hope, maybe connecting over strong emotions is a good place to start.

Sasha Semjonova

Image: 'One Nation Under DOG' Official Single Cover

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