Fake Palms are back with their second album of lofty post punk music, this time seeing them in a more tricksy mood as they write music that tries to distance their sound as far from their debut as possible. Within reason. Exploratory songwriting collides with guitar jangle and intricate drums to excite and bamboozle your brain and senses.
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- Pure Mind by Fake Palms
8/10 Robin Staff review, 18 October 2017
Hey, I say, turning my head real slow like I’ve just discovered that something good and surprising is happening… who are these? With their angular guitars, arms-length vocal murmurings and general post-punk shroud? With those riffs that jump out in the tight but shambolic way we love, always, like fools, every time we hear it? Like Women and Trust Punks and the Hecks and Omni, again?
It’s Fake Palms and they’re this week’s delectable guitar folks. Halfway through “I’m Not There” they switch the semantics of their guitars for a sharp melodic U-turn, creating a hook so good and pure you decide on the spot to fall in love with their whole shtick. Astute in the ways of the post-punk lexicon they make their synth additives exciting, rather than unbearable; rather than submit merely to monotone they make the more dour, grey elements of their fave genre shimmer through dramatic structural shifts -- the pursed lip motorik of “Heaven Scent” develops into a shimmering and riffing triumph.
They’re still working things through, thinking out loud with their experiments, as on the drum-machine speedbumps of “Perfect Day”, a deliberately broken and stagnant tune that develops into nothing but ominous ambient sheen. Overall, though, this record feels like an excellent take on that jubilantly dark, tangled but tethered post-punk we’ve grown accustomed to. It feels, occasionally, a little overtly referential -- the marching but collapsed drums and distraught vocal combos of “Fall Ahead”, in particular, recall Preoccupations original debut -- but overall this is a record shaped and moulded in Fake Palms’ own brilliant vision. Worth a listen or ten.
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