Check out a podcast review of Paw's Dragline here:
Dairy Queen sounds good to me
James F. Colobus | Pittsburgh, PA United States | 06/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember that at the time when Dragline came out, it was immediately labeled second-class grunge by many critics. This designation infuriated me since Paw didn't sound like Nirvana or Pearl Jam rip-offs to me. In fact, I thought these boys from Lawrence, Kansas were just as good as their more acclaimed contemporaries and that Dragline was one of the finest albums of the 90s. Okay, the follow-up Death to Traitors was a little soft and less inspired, but I'll put Dragline up against your favorite albums from the 90s, and I'm sure it will be every bit their equal.What makes Dragline so great? Hard, melodic guitars and Mark Hennessey's gravelly voice and poignant lyrics. `Jessie' always makes me think of the beagle, Betsy, who was a great companion to me growing up - like `Jessie', Betsy was `a good dog' - she used to follow me and the Bishops to Terrace Grocery where she'd sit patiently under the pinball table while we played Tron and Dig Dug for hours. How can you not love a song like `Dragline' where the boy says to his dad, `Dairy Queen sounds good to me'? Mark Hennessy sounds like he or someone he knows has had some rather troubling relationships with women if `Lolita', `Veronica', or `One More Bottle' are any indication, but we are the beneficiaries of those tough times since he seems to have used them as inspiration for some great songs.My only chance to see Paw was at a free concert in a park near Times Square in the mid-90s, but the city pulled the plug after only about 45 minutes. Paw continued to play defiantly, but the audience couldn't hear them anymore. It was great while it lasted though, and I remember Mark Hennessey ambling through the audience in a big red, white, and blue top hat before the show. Good times.Paw is one of those bands you have mixed feelings about. You know they deserved a lot more success than they achieved, but would have been disappointed if mainstream popularity had spoiled them. The great reviews of Dragline by other people here are heartening to see. I haven't found too many other albums on Amazon to be as cherished by such a high percentage of reviewers. Buy it and there's a good chance you'll cherish it too."
5 stars is not enough
Stephen Brown | Seattle, WA USA | 06/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was in college back East when this record came out in the spring of '93. My roommate and I thrived on indie rock, building a record collection that would have been the envy of anyone who prides themselves in finding music that is truly their own...their own dicovery...their own taste. He brought this album home one day on a recommendation from a music store clerk, and it changed my life. A far-fetched statement I know, but read on.
While the record companies and radio stations were franticly searching for the next P Jam or Nirvana, Paw was overlooked for that very reason. These guys were truly unique...and it wasn't untill I saw them live for the first time that I realized why. It was December '93 at the old 9:30 club in D.C. After a few opening bands and about six beers, Paw walked onto the stage looking more like weatherworn lumberjacks than a rock band. Mark took the mic and ushered a simple statement, "We're Paw, we're from Kansas." As they dropped into their opening song "Dragline", whipping the crowd into a frantic swirl, it hit me like a load of firewood...this was a country rock band!
But fear not fellow rockers, this album kicks ass all over the place. The music is loose, raw, fuzzy, emotional, heavy, pounding, melodic, and complex simultaniously. Guitars are gritty and dominant, while the drums have a sharp bite to them much like the early Helmet releases. The sound of Mark's vocals have a rough edge much like Tom Waits or Mark Lannegan.
What elevates this record to iconic status is the songwritting. The lyrics grab at your heart like a crow's tallon. Listening to this album is like daydreaming...it takes me places I've never been, and makes me imagine I'm something I'm not like a truck driver or a fishermen. 'Jesse' is perhaps one of the greatest love songs ever written - and it's about a dog. 'One More Bottle' is the perfect post break-up song. 'Couln't Know' is a song of pity and admiration for a dead shark. But my favorite is easily 'Dragline', a beautiful song about a boy's steadfast admiration for his father...one that has renewed relevance after the birth of my own son.
There is so much more I could say about this record, but much of it has been said by others. This album opened my eyes to so many other great records, but that's always the case isn't it? When we all take a look at our collections, it's really just one big timeline. Everyone likes to fantasize about the "desert island" scenario - which records would you take with you if you were stranded. Well, with an ever revolving music collection that at last count totals at 1,200 plus, this record remains in my Top Ten. I have too many memories associated with this record spread over 12 years to ever let this one go. Do the math friends, that's in the top 1%."
Bill Heck | ThE roAd tO AlaskA | 03/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That's right, I just found out that they're back together, trying to finish recording some songs for a new cd! That will be great if it happens. Go hit the used cd stores and find yourself a copy of "Death To Traitors" cause it's out of print and will soon be impossible to find. It's great. More mature and diverse than DRAGLINE, which is not to say there is a single thing wrong with Dragline! A great band that probably doesn't realize how many people they touched. Here's to hoping they can repeat the magic... :)"
There's a reason there is nothing but 5 star reviews here!
Nathaniel Drake (email@example.com) | South Carolina | 11/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1993 the band Paw arrived on the scene with what is perhaps the best album ever to be recorded only to be labelled as riding in on Kurt Cobain's flannel shirt-tails. Record labels went crazy over them and then promptly forgot about the whole thing. A couple of years later, the 3D0 Road Rash video game was ported to the PlayStation, which included "Jessie," "Pansy," and "Under The Bridge." This made Paw fans out of leagues of PSX gamers, myself included. Since then, not much has been heard of this band. Dragline is not the only CD that this absolutely amazing band has come out with, but it is the best. From the opener Gasoline to the powerful final track Hard Pig, this CD is incredible. Strong, solid, guitar-driven rock with a hint of southern style... If you like Corrosion of Conformity, Staind, Stone Temple Pilots, Lynyrd Skynyrd or even bands like Korn and the Deftones, you will love this album. I have been listening to this CD since 1996 and I still never get tired of it... the replay value is unbelievable. Every time I listen to it I discover more aspects of the work to appreciate. Their 1995 release Death To Traitors on the whole more mellow than Dragline, but still also worth checking out. I remember hearing the single "Hope I Die Tonight" played on the radio a few times, but once again Paw was underappreciated. There is a large underground following that continues to grow. For more info, check out seanm2.amhosting.com, as that is the best Paw site on the Net."
A Must-Own Album
Nathaniel Drake (firstname.lastname@example.org) | 07/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've worn out two copies since 1993 ... and I'm working on wearing out my current copy ... "Dragline" is a classic! The music is hard, melodic and tight, creating a new category of music -- southern-fried macho cerebral crunch-rock!!! Imagine if Page Hamilton from Helmet married country legend George Jones and their kid hung out with Charles Bukowski! That kid would be PAW!!! :) The lyrics (very intelligently) cover everything that matters to the "every-man" ... women, fishing, dogs, women, drinkin' and women (and there's even a song about hangin' out with yer old man)! I love this CD, man!!! And you will too!!!"