Nottingham born band Palm Reader have done it again, creating a new album offering a change of theme and sound both unlike and alike to their previous three albums.
After both singles ‘Hold/Release’ and ‘Willow’ the album already saw great potential, with hints towards an album based on the experiences of others, with emotional and technical guitar riffs hidden behind heavy, thundering riffs typical of the genre.
Suffice to say the rest of the album does not disappoint with tracks like ‘Stay Down’ reminding the listener that they have not forgotten their original hardcore roots as Josh Mckeown tears through the crushing instrumentals. Whereas ‘A Bird and it’s Feathers’ has shown that they aren’t simply trying to appeal just to a heavier audience but are also really pushing hard towards giving their fans the ability to listen to three of their tracks and come away with a different experience every time. For anyone new to the genre this album is an amazing opportunity to ease yourself into it.
The melodies featured in these tracks are astounding, the work done by both Andy Gillian and Sam Rondeau- Smith in an attempt to ‘’create sounds that sit behind those riffs and Tear at your heartstrings,’’ really shines. On a single listen the layers to the music and the production of each song is pieced together so well. The drumming by Dan Olds seems distant but pronounced like a heartbeat keeping the flow alive with songs like ‘False Thirst’ featuring a harmony of drums, keyboard and vocals that carry the flow and character of the song as a whole showing the bands hunger to try experiment and change their sound. As for the bass playing by Josh Redrup it works in harmony with the guitars and plays well with the use of piano and helping keep the chugging flow of the heavier songs.
The lyricism in this album was not brushed over, aswell as remaining heavy Josh Mckeown really seems to care about the way he wanted to put himself in the songs as he describes the scene of the mother in ‘Willow’ and the lines used in ‘Ending cycle’ that instils a sense of power within the listener.
A Bird and its Feathers – This track feels like a culmination of their skills used in the album, as the centrepiece, it shows a progressive and hard journey from the calm introduction to the fantastic. it features a breakdown in a way, something that really would suit the band if they focused on creating an intricate, but impactful breakdown, in the future which, judging by their work, is well within their skill range.
A Love That Tethers/Both Ends of the rope – these two tracks come together to create one song as the first bridges onto the other. They represent the sombre sounds they were grasping at during this albums creation and end the album with a fantastic display of build up and progression much like Tools ‘Parabol/Parabola’ tracks.
The focus on melodies but keeping it heavy echoes how classic metal was created, not only does the album show how they are going to be a band that will be able consistently make new sounds and interesting music but it shows how new and old fans will view their previous work and how far they have progressed in terms of remaining fresh. The album is a must listen and bodes well for the future of the band.