Sacred PawsRock Action
Strike A Match
Released: 8th December 2017
It has come to pass. When Sacred Paws converged a few years back, a fiery duo who dived into a breakneck, punked up version of Afro-beat-inflected music uninhibited, we were excited about the possibility. Sacred Paws were home-grown, two friends from different cities who had cut their teeth in different groups before finding each other. Rachel Aggs and Eilidh Rodgers eventually grew into one of the most essential and life-affirming live acts on this island; with only guitar, drums and vocals the duo had a somehow-maximalist approach to rhythm and melody.
Now, much fun and many dances later, Sacred Paws finally unveil their debut full length on Rock Action. While their previous ep "Six Songs" seemed to riff on a similar blueprint: the wiry, high life-influenced virtuoso guitar of Rachel Aggs bouncing off Rodgers' frantic, joyful drumming, Strike A Match explores new territory with aplomb. Bringing in more instrumentation in parts - most notably a bass guitar, trumpet and some ecstatic synth playing from Happy Meals/The Cosmic Dead keyboardist Lewis Cook - has revealed many depths to Aggs and Rodgers' songwriting. Everyday is a stand out: by easing back a little on the pace, the duo let the sun shine in, with more harmonies and intricacies to reach into the listener's inner ear. Strike A Match doesn't ease up too much though: at heart this is still the duo who yank improbable guitar lines out of their own fast-paced orbit, but by now wielding a fully-developed songwriting prowess that lingers long after the dance has ended. Sacred Paws are unstoppable.