Album Review: Pale Angels – Strange Powers (Arc Live Session)

First off – this new release by Pale Angels is a live recorded seven inch. So the production is defiantly lo-fi, and the reverb on the vocals sounds like they stuck the microphone down the toilet for laughs. But that dirty, home-recorded, four-tracky sound can be charming when done with intent.

And on the whole this is breezy, pacy stuff. Rattling along brightly in a latterday fuzz-geetar vein – from a quick listen you could easily tag this as a chirpier and catchier early Nirvana – all four tracks have plenty of intent. And there’s melody in the distortion, too. This is probably as near actual “grunge-pop” as anyone currently out there. Whether it be by convergent evolution or conscious homage, this clearly harks back to the sound of Captain America / Eugenius and the Vaselines – Kurt Cobain’s very own favourite bands way back when. Case in point being the opener “Just Faces”, which is as perfect a two-minute package of breathless, scuzzy hookery as you are likely to find.

This lot are also an Anglo-American concern (two thirds of this “classic” three piece being from Noo Joizey) – and have some substantial supports lined up over the coming months. Not least a support slot for those scallywag comedy popsy-popsy punks Masked Intruder for their string of Europe dates, the obligatory slot at The Fest over in Gainsville, and a UK tour with Bangers and the exalted Doe. And good luck to ‘em. From all this, it’s hard not to conclude that the sainted grunge revival still has plenty of legs yet.

Posted in Record Reviews, Reviews and tagged , .

Ed Ling

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