To have a band named after an introverted yet loyal group of friends from an animated Disney show from the 90’s, it should be no surprise that North Ayrshire act The Pale Kids bring with them an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. While it may not be in the traditional angsty nostalgia sense where they argue about how cartoons in their day were so much better and that kids nowadays don’t know what they’re missing on, there’s a rose tinted view on a variety of early to mid 2000’s influences that radiates from their sound and, amalgamated with their own charm and zesty lyricism, results in the band’s debut release You Decide, undoubtedly one of the best listens of the year so far.
Don’t believe me? I wouldn’t blame you as not even the “post-post-punk” outfit themselves seem to realise the great music they’re coming out with, especially in their bio that oozes with humour where after noting ibiza ideology, the band describe themselves as “normal human beings”. However, just like a “man” in an off license wearing an overly long coat with stilts poking out the bottom, the band are far from just your typical band of young aspirational musicians. As soon as Not Listening kicks off the band’s eight song long release, it feels like what the Pale Kids are making is like a perfectly calculated equation where introvertedness seeps through unapologetically both in the lyrics and sound.
Guitars ping perfectly along to a pretty joyous rhythm, juxtaposing some weird and pessimistic lines about being bored since 9/11 and becoming your parents. It almost feels like something Alex Turner would have penned on one of the Arctic Monkey’s early record with some droll introspectiveness about the band’s hometown as well as some visceral imagery about romance and boredom making this track amongst others on here some of the smartest and most interesting music to have came out from a small band in quite some time.
The fact that Pale Kids can go from mid 2000’s British Indie rock to start of the century NYC post-punk is quite remarkable indeed, especially on the following track Cold Blooded where the band channel their inner Julian Casablancas and co. with a slick and noisy production value managing to make the anti-capitalist motif behind the song as well as some sinister lines about some nursery school classic easier to swallow. If any Communist parties are looking for an effortlessly cool new anthem then they should definitely hit this up.
Let me cut this professional demeanour to end this article as it’s a challenge to keep it up when you can’t resist just formally perfusing how much you enjoy something. From the fuzzy feedback drenched moments to the angsty, romance torn lyrics to cynical lines about dicks on the dancefloor, Pale Kids just manage to own this image of an act who are having a blast just writing angry and unusual songs from the comfort of their favourite hangout spot with one another. Just like the image obsessed weirdos that this release constantly takes shot at, Pale Kids are a new generation’s Weezer, making nerdy introverts cool all over again.
If you’re in need of some #goodvibes and like what you’ve read then be sure to check out Pale Kids at their launch night at The Old Hairdressers in Glasgow on 27th July too where they’ll have limited edition cassettes available.There’ll be support from Grand Pricks & STOCK MANAGER with entry being £4 or £7 along with a tape, be sure to come on by, it’ll be an amazing night!!!
-Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)