ASTUTE PALATE: Self-titled: LP

May 25, 2021

Astute Palate are not afraid to settle on a riff when it’s working. The band play sold rock’n’roll, but the song lengths and chorus/verse approaches are often a mystery. Here it works as if Hendrix had moved to Akron in the early ’80s. “No Queen” is a mid-pace rocker with a sonically loud and droney guitar riff framing warbly, Rocket From The Tombs-style vocals. It goes on a while but never gets boring. “Stall Out” layers two raw guitar riffs for a long, free-form intro. Slow, echoey vocals eventually appear alternating against short bursts of fuzzy guitar solos. I admire a band willing to experiment. They stretch out over this full-length which only contains seven songs. But each is a ride worth taking. They don’t just ride a token jam. It’s heady but fun to listen to. Recommended for those interested in less retro-infused psych or Detroit-esque records. –Billups Allen (Astute Palate, astutepalate.bandcamp.com)

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