Palehorse have been around the block a bit. The block located in the darkest corner of South London inhabited by some of the shadiest characters. Vile junkies lurk, offering sexual favours in return for a fix. Homeless derranged men try to dangle their filth covered junk in your soggy grease ridden kebab. Luckily Palehorse are armed with scathing vocals, twin bass of filth and drums that hit hard to ward off the attack. Of course this is all metaphorical bullshit, churned out by the likes of myself to pad out "this album is fucking great" in a review. Or is it?
Bullshit aside there is a feeling Palehorse have walked a dodgy road or two. They've been around since early 00's (I refuse to write noughties; fuck, just did). Also, they've experienced a line up change or several and frustration getting releases out over the years. I first became aware of them when they signed to Eyes of Sound, and as they were of the same scene as Humanfly and Bossk etc. They released the excellent Soft as Butter, Hard as Ice in 2010. An album of abject distain and driven by the twin bass riffery.
They now signed to the excellent Candlelight Records and will release Harm Starts Here soon. Palehorse have crafted the best collection of tracks of their career. They haven't changed up the sound too much, maybe adding a few extra touches. There are still Slint style post-rock leanings, spoken word vocals and the heavy bass. Ben Dawson puts in a great performance on drums. Varying from the solid rhythm, dominating fills and the falling down a flight of stairs approach. Opener 'What is Wrong with You People' is a perfect example of all this and Palehorse in general. Ranging from gentle and spoken word to chaotic noise rock during its 11+ minutes.
'Don't Bitch My Shit' is a glorious stomp of Unsane style groove. The relentless bass riff is infectious and neck snapping. Frank Turner even pops in for a guest appearance, yes that Frank Turner, don't have a shitfit he's still more hardcore than your Mum. Frank leaves his acoustic strumming at home and lets rip with his old buddies from his Million Dead days. If Candlelight don't put a full size sticker on this album saying "featuring Frank Turner from the Olympics" they are missing a trick. Seriously though, it's not contrived and probably more Palehorse doing him a favour rather than vice versa. Also I've given too much space to the appearance, as Palehorse are the stars here.
Harm Starts Here I learnt was recorded mostly live and in one take for each track. An impressive feat given the tracks average 10 minutes. It's an album of depth that needs time to soak in, although on the surface packs a hefty punch also. What Palehorse do well is make the fact there are no guitars not really come into your thinking. They are not the only bass driven band, but some others become so repetitive you think "fuck I'd even take a Dragonforce widdly session right now". Palehorse however maintain the interest with varying dynamics and elements of different styles keeping it fresh.
I've probably done the album a huge injustice by rambling on, truth is it deserves as much attention as possible. In a time where talentless shit heads star in videos playing bastardised metalcore, acting like Puff Daddy and sell bucketloads. Real talent, creativity, risk taking, and downright fucking brilliant albums like this should be treasured. Held aloft and then rammed down people's throats. On sale in Asda next to Frank and fucking children off some tv show production line. Sold by the bucket load, so the guys can eat in the kebab shop in the nice side of town without the crazy man's junk dip. It deserves to be played live in a large dark room with a bunch of Jesus Lizard/Melvins/Fugazi loving fucknuts, drunk, deranged and thankful bands like Palehorse exist.
Some of these things will happen, all of them should. Do your bit, buy Harm Starts Here when released on June 24th. You owe to yourself.