PALE ANGELS: Strange Powers (ARC Live Session): 7”

Pales Angels debut album Primal Play seemed to be influenced by two heavyweights of the early 1990s with a sound that regularly came across like Kurt Cobain’s vocals and guitar being enveloped in a haze of Dinosaur Jr’s all round fuzziness—and although it’s a decent enough record, it now gives me the impression of just being a pleasant precursor for this single on which the band finds a more distinctive and enjoyable sound. These four tracks were recorded live, as part of the Amsterdam Recording Company Session series, and contain enough energy to power a small town for six months. The whole project also seems like an exercise in cramming as much ebullience onto vinyl as is humanly/technically possible—notwithstanding the occasional moments of calm which have been snuck in for some respite. Pale Angels comes across with a livewire quality that makes me think of the brashness of Nü Sensae, the tunefulness of Shang-A-Lang, and M.O.T.O.’s lo-fi delivery. In addition I have to advise first time listeners that when “La Equinas” kicks in it, would be wise to strap themselves down to something secure as it’s a sixty two second stampede—the song races around with the abandon of a small child, with little or no regard for its own safety, such is the high-spirited exuberance that is set in motion. 

 –Rich Cocksedge (Specialist Subject)