Review: Pale Angels- Strange Powers 7″ (Specialist Subject Records)

Posted: September 2, 2014 in Reviews

Strange Powers (ARC Live Session) 7" cover art

Often, recording live does not allow the musical ability of a band to be heard; it can distort and disrupt an otherwise brilliant record. But sometimes, recording a live suits a band down to a tee; it just works for them. And that is such with the case of Pale Angels and their second 7” Strange Powers, following last years Primal Play. Pale Angels are a trans-Atlantic punk rock trio, with two of their members from New Jersey (including Mikey Erg!) and one from South Wales (former member of The Arteries), although Mikey Erg! did not feature on this recording and was replaced by The Cut Ups drummer Reza Mirehsan. Pale Angels sound little like the former/current bands of its members. Rather, it is a garage punk affair, which is frantic, fast-paced and full of hooks, but despite which, sounds nothing like, say White Wires. There is melody and pop here, but these are balanced out by a gritty punk at Pale Angels core. This dirty pop is best heard on side A hit “Just Faces” which buzzes along with an urgency unmatched by many in the garage punk sub-genre. There is also a cover of The Feelies “Crazy Rhythms” on here, and its catchier nature fits in well in between the punkier, grittier “La Esquina” and “Romantic Depression”. To an extent, Pale Angels are all over the place in terms of their musical influences, but when recorded, a cohesive whole is formed. To summarise: this is Ramones filtered through Mudhoney filtered through Marked Men.

Listen here: http://specialistsubject.bandcamp.com/album/strange-powers-arc-live-session-7

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