One of the good things about lockdown (and let’s be honest, there aren’t many of them as most of it has been truly rubbish), has been having time to listen to music, dig a bit deeper into bands you like and discover new related sounds.
I’d liked the fabulous Sacred Paws for a while - a superb duo featuring the talented Rachel Aggs. Sacred Paws had won Scottish Album of the year in 2017, mixing Afrobeat, highlife, post punk and indie - check them out, they will have you bouncing around before the first song has finished!
Alongside Sacred Paws, Rachel is also in Trash Kit, and Shopping. The latter band has a tense, funky sound which they describe as “propulsive bass lines, primitive disco-not-disco drums, and guitar lines sharp as broken glass”. That sounds about right.
All Or Nothing is their fourth album - less scrappy and scratchy than predecessors, with some minimal synths, call and response lyrics and no time or space wasted (the album clocks in at just over 30 minutes). Less focused on Aggs’ highlife guitars than Sacred Paws, this album is more angular, jangly guitars and disco punk. It’s perfect gym workout music - you will be pounding the treadmill with this blaring out of your headphones.
Favourites include Initiative with its tetchy, irritated chorus of “Why can’t you show some initiative?!”. Meanwhile, Expert Advice has multiple lyrics and choruses singing over each other (I count three different lyrics competing for airspace at the same time - it’s busy!). Body Clock captures the feeling of a panic attack, while Follow Me considers our surveillance CCTV world - “Follow me, follow me - I’ll make it worth it”.
Like Sacred Paws, this album has been designed to make you move...so get off your arse and go and check it out now!