A horrible hack

Pale Angels

Strange Powers (ARC Live Session)

Year Released: 2014
Format: 7"
Label: Specialist Subject
Reviewed by Sean Haughton on Sep 11, 2014
pale angels is a transatlantic project featuring members of static radio, the arteries, and however many million bands the drummer from the ergs! has been in in the past ten years. it's certainly a misleading pedigree as the trio's debut LP 'primal play' leant more towards a reverb-heavy version of 'open your heart' by the men, or the more hooky nirvana songs. probably my most hated trend at the moment is this dodgy appropriation of "grunge" culture by baggy shirt hardcore lads suddenly growing their hair out and discovering a soundgarden single, a trend that seems to be occurring everywhere right now, so if you're approaching a nirvana reference with a raised eyebrow i don't blame you. thankfully, i'm happy to say pale angels stray far from sounding like some kind of godawful bush/silverchair alt-radio hybrid.

this release being a live session, it's a little more rough around the edges and harder to make out than the album. the opener and closing songs really stand out here ('just faces' kind of sounds like if you put a particularly banging toys that kill song through a space echo), even if the live recording's blown-out sound sometimes threatens overwhelm the songs a little too much. i would imagine these songs will end up given the proper sonic treatment later down the line on some sort of LP. bonus points for the cover of 'crazy rhythms' by the feelies, which had me actually go and listen to the feelies and discover a really great band. i'm listening to 'only life' as i write this now! a good (and brief) taster for whatever this band have planned for the future. if anything, you should be impressed with the level of commitment when most people can't keep a band running in their own city.

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