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Pale Heart - Jungleland (2018)

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Pale Heart - Jungleland (2018)

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01. Time to Love
02. Evil Man
03. Little World
04. Grand Southern Man
05. Heavy Stones
06. Last Letter
07. Transcendence
08. Flying High
09. Cry for Desperation

Marc Bauer - vocals, guitars
Nico Bauer - hammond, rhodes, synthesizer, moog bass
Marvin Schaber - drums

 

German heavy blues rockers Pale Heart release their debut album, Jungleland, on Dec. 7 through StoneFree Records/Broken Silence. It’s their first record with the name, but the history of the three-piece who made it — often-chapeau’ed guitarist/vocalist Marc Bauer, organist Nico Bauer and drummer Sebastian Neumeier (since replaced by Marvin Schaber) — goes back a decade to their teenage beginnings as the band White Daze. Also, in the case of Marc and Nico being brothers, you know, childhood and all that. But Pale Heart, who derive the new name from a critique of the ravages of capitalist greed on the human soul — Marx would groove — are a different animal altogether, with the varied keys and synth taking the place of bass in covering low end with the guitar while furthering the melody and Marc‘s vocals as a steady focal point over the swinging, adaptable drums of Neumeier. Whether they’re chilling out slow on “Little World” or dug into the heavier push in the second half of seven-minute opener “Time to Love” — immediately contrasted by “Evil Man” — or basking in the psychedelia and well-earned organ/synth solo in the 12-minute “Transcendence,” Jungleland isn’t by any means a minor journey at nine songs and 50 minutes, but it stands itself out via songcraft and naturalist, smooth performances.

And if their new video for “Flying High” makes you want to get down by getting all dragged up and putting on a show, pale heart junglelandfucking a. Seems to work pretty well for my man with the cigarettes on his pizza, so all the better. The song, like much of the record it represents, is a hookfest, catchy to its core and given nuance in the sonic space where bass might otherwise reside by Nico‘s Rhodesing and Moogery. As the penultimate cut on Jungleland, it’s somewhat buried behind the aforementioned “Transcendence,” but it’s an uptempo kick right when the album needs it and provides a bridge to the easy-rolling closer “Cry of Desperation” that follows. No complaints, in other words. The production is organic but not strictly retro, and across the record the band flesh out sundry moods and funky nods while holding to the central bluesy feel. It’s a vibe album. It vibes. It wants you to vibe with it. And it makes a convincing case for doing so.

In that, “Flying High” is a more than worthy representation, and even if you don’t have nailpolish handy (why not?), the clip is also fully enjoyable with a cup of coffee, or maybe a slice of cigarette-free pizza if that’s your thing. I’m happy to host the premiere.

Founded in 2008 under the moniker WHITE DAZE, the trio, consisting of brothers Marc and Nico Bauer, and Sebastian Neumeier, found its home within the soulful Blues Rock-spheres of the olden days. And without exaggeration: It’s this baseline feeling that makes the 70ies come alive right in front of you. Forged from the present and fed by the past, their sound isn’t just a combination of those two worlds. It’s an elegant amalgamation that also evokes something new. Sebastian Neumeier isn’t a member of PALE HEART anymore, but it’s him playing the drums on “Jungleland”.

Under the name PALE HEART the band reforms as a trio, this time with Marvin Schaber as the drummer. And good times are ahead: Their new material sounds full, earthy, and gritty, felt to the bone by each member and performed with maximum authenticity. Blues, Rock, Soul, Prog sounds and faintly psychedelic melodies, never too serious despite its depth, never too easy despite its groove. PALE HEART don’t make music to be cool, to get girls, or to be celebrated on hipster blogs. PALE HEART strive to make music because it’s fulfilling. And have adopted an even more free, passionate, and uninhibited sound in 2018. ---theobelisk.net

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Last Updated (Thursday, 24 January 2019 16:04)

 

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