Transatlantic punks Pale Angels take their grunge-inspired punk rock to more diverse places with their latest release, ‘Daydreaming Blues’. ‘Aeroplane’ is a shimmering opener. Dazzling in a laid back punk rock cool, but still biting with that same gritty garage band fuzz. ‘Don’t Leave’ is another hard-hitter combining an acoustic strum and a snarling vocal that Seattle’s biggest grunge band would have approved of. Although one striking a more emotional note. It is no surprise that Pale Angels started life as a Nirvana covers band.
In polar opposition, ‘Loveless’ absolutely rips. Brimming with pace and power this is a blistering piece of Misfits inspired hardcore punk and one that hits instantaneously. The track provides an injection of rawness that had been missing from the previous two-thirds of the record, and is a welcome addition.
Clocking in at 7:30, ‘Funeral’ is the longest of the records two lengthy tracks but, despite consistently bubbling along, never really boils. It fails to bring enough interesting ideas to justify its perplexing runtime. At 6:38 album closer ‘X Rated’ fares a little better with an unwavering stomp that does manage to at least hook the attention. While an ominous drone finishes the record with haunting intrigue.
Despite the geographical distance between the members of the three-piece this release has a cohesiveness throughout. Pale Angels have managed to somehow still successfully capture the beauty of three friends in a garage kicking out the jams.
However, ‘Daydreaming Blues’ is much more than simple garage-based rock and roll. It’s darker, dreamier and more eclectic than any of their previous work. Things can get a little sleepy in places, but the band should be commended for taking chances with their sound. They bring the hooks when necessary, but aren’t afraid to experiment with elements derived from the darker regions of the genre. There are good songs on offer, but you’ll have to work to find them at times.
‘Daydreaming Blues’ by Pale Angels is released on 25th November on Specialist Subject Records.
Words by Joe Philpott (@joe_philpott)