Paus Live At The Lexington

Art & Culture

Paus are a four piece from Lisbon who revel in noise and chaos. They’re rock musicians performing something closer to techno by using robust drumming by their two drummers, electronic belches and synthesized atmospherics helping to add beauty to the chaos. They have mastered the art of fusing noise with melody, afrobeat guitar noodling and natural Mediterranean cool. This isn’t your average rock four piece, they have two drummers, always a good thing, unless you're the Glitter Band. 
With the two drum kits centre stage, it's pretty clear that the beat is king here, and it proves to be an absolute beast of a beat. During tracks such as “Pontimola”, or the Fugazi gone rave of “Brandiera Branca”, the drums act in the exact same way two guitarists thrashing at their instruments would, creating blistering white noise whilst keeping that pounding 4/4 intact. Whilst all four members harmonise, the majority of vocals, not conventional singing, hollered demands (in Portuguese) are covered by the two drummers. We're not talking Phil Collins dueting with Don Henley here, it's the coolest thing seeing two musicians losing their shit amongst the beat, and on occasion howling a triumphant scream while almost flying out of their seat.

Their 2 albums, 2009s self-titled, and last year's “Clarao” are the product of jam sessions drummer Hélio Morais tells me after the gig, nothing is pre – written, pre-planned, and it definitely sounds pretty impromptu, but disciplined enough to avoid any unrequired noodling. The same goes for the live renditions tonight, there's no proggy excursions or ridiculous synth solos, that said, their very best track, “Deixa-Me Ser”, welcomed by the audience as if it was a chart beating classic, is the kind of anthemic tribal track that would sound even better extended to some crazy 20 minute excursion that incorporates a bit of space jazz, hippyish flute excursions and druggy ambience, maybe a remix job for Amorphous Androgynous. 
Yeah sure, comparisons can be made with the likes of Mogwai, Broken social scene, And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead and the like, but Paus’ powerhouse rhythm section sets them apart from being linked by such lazy comparisons, if noise punishment followed by warm strokes of electronica on repeat is your bag, you’ll find much love to here.