Dragline

Paw

Recorded in Madison, Wisconsin, and relased via A&M records, Paw's Dragline has only one memorable (pseudo) hit in Jessie. And at that, I only know it because of WAAF Boston. As far as 'grunge' bands go, Lawrence, Kansas based Paw was a bit on the heavy side, maybe even heavy enough to say that they aren't grunge.

Dragline: Paw releases Jessie and an album’s worth of songs just like it

Paw is ranked 30th on Now That’s Nifty’s Top 40 Grunge Bands ever. Feels about right. If it were 90s band in total, not a chance. Anyway, feel free to check them out.

Nothing about Dragline is revolutionary. NOTHING.

Same riff after same riff. It is on par with Green Day. Except not as awesome as Green Day.

Play the fight riff

Every song on Dragline sounds like the music John Mayer plays in Chappelle’s Show skit: Electric Guitar, Drums or Electric Piano.

Rating

I give Dragline a 3.510

Give me a break, Paw wrote the same song, many times over. I LOVE Jessie, but really, come on.

Track listing

Tracks 13-17 not on the original release of Dragline in 1993.

  1. Gasoline
  2. Sleeping Bag
  3. Jessie
  4. The Bridge
  5. Couldn’t Know
  6. Pansy
  7. Lolita
  8. Dragline
  9. Veronica
  10. One More Bottle
  11. Sugarcane
  12. Hard Pig
  13. Suicide Shift
  14. Slow Burn
  15. I Know Where You Sleep
  16. Jessie (acoustic)
  17. Imaginary Lover

Dragline notes

Gasoline

Fitch dropping early drums. Got a bit of a death metal thing happening. Evokes King Missle, Pantera, Helmet in Gasoline’s main riff.

Hard, crushing, and yet mostly sleep inducing. Not really a huge fan. A bit boring.

Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bag follows the standard hard verse, light, airy chorus formula. The post choral acoustic guitar interlude is on brand for grunge. Silverchair employs it to solid effect.

Hennessy takes a lazy approach to the vocals throughout Sleeping Bag.

Jessie

The hit. The only hit. The ONLY song on the album. It’s basically a spray-n-pray on Dragline. Jessie stuck. It happens. Glad they wrote ONE hit.

Jessie had a Helmet (Meantime) verse with an early Goo Goo Dolls chorus (Superstar Car Wash).

The Bridge

Not going to lie, every song on Dragline sounds the same. If this is a strong, thematic choice, then kudos to Paw. If not … it’s probably not.

The Bridge is background noise. It feels like the kid down the hall at college who tries so hard to get you to come and see his band, you know it’s not going to be life-changing, and it isn’t. But you’re there to support him anyway.

Couldn’t Know

Could it be? Could it be a slightly different song? I … couldn’t know.

Ehhh, not really. Nope, same old Paw.

People on youtube make comments like, “Paw’s biggest problem, recognition-wise, was that they were from Lawrence, Kansas instead of Seattle or Chicago.”

No. Paw’s biggest problem was that they weren’t that great. They had one song. ONE SONG. The best version of it happened to be Jessie.

Even Green Day had more diversity.

Interesting breakdown in the latter parts of Couldn’t Know.

Pansy

Peter Fitch kicks Pansy into gear with tribal war beat. Frenetic guitar work. Total “play the fight riff” example.

Pansy is thematically similar to many Paw songs on Dragline. You can hear elements of the main hit Jessie here on Pansy.

Lolita

Big, in your face bass to open Lolita. Give it up for Charlie Bryan. He’s now a skydiver, ya know!?

Cool that Hennessy and crew bring in the acoustic in the latter half of the cut.

Lolita, you … you can’t stay cause I’m not sure where to place you. What an average song.

Dragline

5 minutes of heavy metal. interesting.

Just not sure what I am listening to. Just a garage band playing music. It’s got a 90s r&b feel for the lyrics. Paw just sorta talks about what is going on in their life.

Veronica

Veronica is a slight change from what Paw normally does on Dragline. The more I listen, the more I don’t comprehend Jessie’s amazingness.

This is mostly high school garage band material. No one cares about this. It’s not that they are bad, they just literally wrote the same song across a WHOLE album.

The lyrics to Veronica get a bit creepy. It’s funny if it’s hair metal. As grunge, it’s bordering on criminal. Maybe it is just a sign of the times. No clue.

One More Bottle

Same opening riff. Wait, we might have a hard Gin Blossoms/Goo Goo Dolls thing going on here. One More Bottle might actually be listenable. Let’s see.

Big wah pedal expression.

Good changes, less reliant on typical crap. One More Bottle is a finer version of Paw. Not excellent Paw. Just finer version.

Sugarcane

Has potential. Lotta beats by Peter Fitch.

Ohhh good change. Lets see where this goes.

Lyrics are … grade school. And not in a good 80s way. Just wasted worthlesness.

How did Jessie ever succeed?

Hard Pig

Could be fun. Love the feedback. Love it over the bass. Got a nice, bitchin’ riff. Hard Pig has potential.

Got an Alice in Chains feel. Harmonics and huge bass moves.

To be honest, the Fitch brothers must have been locked in pretty tight to let every Dragline song sound exactly the same.

Suicide Shift

Could it be? Something different? Let’s see where Suicide Shift goes. The acoustic beginning is a nice touch.

Nope. Back into Paw-ville. Holy smokes, if you read the youtube comments, Paw fans adore them and think they should be in the upper grunge echelons. Gosh, no. This is not good.

Slow Burn

Whoa, hard rock. Let’s see where Slow Burn goes.

Punk/Alt/Grunge/Hard rock. That’s where.

I Know Where You Sleep

Interesting intro. I like how I Know Where You Sleep kicks off. Powerful.

Jessie (acoustic)

Recorded in Boston. Gotta be WAAF. Loved WAAF growing up. They played tons of stuff that other radio stations wouldn’t.

Imaginary Lover

A cover from the Atlanta Rythem Section. Never heard of them.

To be honest, how did they cover this? Whose idea was it? It’s such a depature from the one-song sound that they really nailed on Dragline.