Thursday 27 June 2013

Bare Pale - If It Is

EP review by

To many the world of lo-fi can sound like a cat trapped in a bucket, down a well, making a racket. Then one of the joys of lo-fi is that you really have to listen, to put yourself in that bucket down that well. Then suddenly this world of amazing noise surrounds you in the most marvelous way. You hear sparkling songs, that shine out of the dark. On their debut EP 'If It Is', Bare Pale are lo-fi, yet fantastically so. Amongst a wash of discordant, yet harmonious noise, opening song 'Bare Pale' lays out their template. Somewhat akin to early Sonic Youth melted with shoegaze melodic crashes. 'Bare Pale' leads quickly into second track 'Homecoming'. It is quite a wondrous amalgamation of the deep fuzz-laden grunge of Dinsouar Jr, The Melvins, and all the while drenched in honeyed melodies and Kurt Vile slacker vocals, which liquify together in quite an enthralling brew.

'I Never Could' is more forceful, the song has a rhythmic sensation of pushing itself along. Almost perversely, underlying it all is an almost proto-krautrock pulse that throbs with the echoing vocals. With dashes of Husker Du and early Lemonheads 'Rub It In' is maybe the most easily connectable of those here. It has a true, sky-bound chorus. There is a drone second vocal that adds a textural depth and recalls The Horrors before the bombast.  'You Look So Different Today' sees Bare Pale truly indulging and encapsulating the 21st century slacker. The song sounds barely awake at first, and struggles to find its form, then somehow it wakes itself up, and all somewhat gloriously falls into place. And Bare Pale then give you a strung out, ragged, yet charming solo to climax the song. Bare Pale bow out the EP with 'Shame'. This is the most sonically deep song so far. It has a real sense of dynamic, held around that exquisite foundation of joyous fizzing fuzz. Throughout 'If It Is' Bare Pale display the sparse, sun-bleached bones of the song, then they immerse you and the song, allowing it to become some blissful, wonderful whiteout of noise and melody.This is a collection of songs that linger even after the feedback has died.

Bare Pale's website

Stream or buy the EP

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