This article was first published on Louder Than War on 30 September 2012.
Paul Miro – Sometimes You Get, Sometimes You Get Got
CD / DL
Available 1 October 2012
From the ’90s rock scene through an acoustic cocoon singer-songwriter Paul Miro has emerged with a new collection of rock songs blending styles with super-layered guitars and lyrical awesome.
There’s hardly a week passes in our house, where at some point my husband hasn’t whistled his way through an Apes, Pigs and Spaceman song or two. Possibly forgotten by most this band where obsessed over by Kerrang (and my husband) in the ’90s, billed as taking back the rock crown after Seattle grunge stole the limelight for a time.
Since then main man Paul Miro has played on a myriad of other records and soundtracks as well as making guest appearances with other artists and heading out on the live circuit solo or with Simon Friend’s Seismic Survey.
But, here he is now, with his third solo album moving away from the acoustic and trip-hop explorations of previous records and returning more to that grindcore rock sound. And bloody good it is too.
Miro has the knack not only for a catchy chorus but for writing an incisive lyric, tongue in cheek but rarely cliched. Team this with impressive vocal – his is perhaps one of the finest and most overlooked of rock voices – and you’ve got something to get you grinning from ear to ear before giving in and singing along.
The first couple of tracks would have been at home on any Apes Pigs and Spacemen record with layered guitars, sneer / soothe vocals, a racing beat and subtle backing to expand the sound out to it’s full potential. There are indeed, a few tracks like this across the album but at no point does it feel backward looking – just very accomplished and comfortable in itself.
But Miro isn’t content with bringing back the grindcore and throws in a range of other styles from electro influences in the background of Hideaway, the Latin tempo and melody of Esperando un Milagro and the bluegrass reverb of Hangin’ Around. Touchstones too abound – The Rolling Stones in the intro to Shut Up, Fool; glam stomp in album closer Carry On; here and there lines reminiscent of Soul Asylum or Crash Test Dummies.
The album doesn’t feel messy though – anything but – and that’s mainly because of the consistency of the vocal. This is a voice you can luxuriate in, rich and warm whether it’s snarling out a politico punk line or words of love.
And it’s for that voice you should come, it’s for the songwriting it’s paired with you should stay.
All words by Sarah Lay.