This has been one of the most hyped and long-awaited debut albums for alternative music in the last few years. With an already impressive discography of excellent EPs, as well as a recent run of superb singles, Infinite Pleasure, the full-length album from Newcastle trio The Pale White has finally arrived.
The record kicks off with title track ‘Infinite Pleasure’ and instantly sets the tone for the rampage of riffs that will follow. An exquisite creeping guitar line is drip-fed over lead singer Adam Hope’s vocals, while the closing section of the song is channelling prime Queens of the Stone Age era, with its dirty down-tuned groove, and ferocious rhythm section.
Second track ‘Glue’ is the three piece’s heaviest song to date, a slow jam of mammoth distortion. Its anthemic chorus explodes, and will no doubt be screamed across festival stages this summer. There are clearly a lot of classic rock influences on show here, with ‘Take Your Time’ featuring a bassline that could be the first cousin of the iconic Pixies ‘Debaser’ intro.
A brand-new incarnation of ‘White Dress’ has been re-recorded for the album, much to the delight of hardcore fans. It featured as the band’s second single back in 2016, and has remained a much-treasured staple of their live set ever since. The track has been turned up to 11 with beefier riffs, a dirtier bass tone and a huge soaring guitar solo. The results of this revamp transform the already great song into a grungy behemoth of a track, which fits seamlessly in with the new material. A very smart move from the band, who clearly value the opinions of their loyal fanbase.
‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ resembles Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s ability to match chugging bass riffs with catchy melody. The trio’s gift for penning a memorable chorus is best displayed on ‘Medicine’, which may be the standout from an exceptionally strong set of songs. A previous single, it is going to be a high point of their shows once live music fully kicks off again later this year.
The visceral driving pace of the album takes a slower turn on the melancholic ‘Anechoic Chamber Blues’, showing a totally different side to the band. It will be interesting to see if they pursue this softer, sadder sound more in the future as it shows a promising diversity in their ambition to widen their sonic pallet.
Album closer ‘Frank Sinatra’ is slightly too ponderous and overblown, lacking the energy of the rest of the material, but its enjoyable to hear the band trying new sounds and structures. Better to aim high and fall slightly short then just churn out the same reworked song for 11 tracks.
The Pale White have well and truly lived up to their own hype and delivered an excellent first album, and they must now be itching to get back on the live circuit to deliver it to the fans.
Infinite Pleasure is out today (23 April) via AWAL.
Words by Ed Budds
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