The third album from Palace, Shoals is purportedly alternative blues-rock. Only it isn’t. Instead, the release is a gentle, laidback offering from the London-based four-piece, but one that doesn’t live up to its promotional blurb. To quote Palace frontman Leo Wyndham, “The mind has dangerous depths like the ocean and thoughts are like shoals of fish: chaotic, untameable and unpredictable,” and it’s a shame the album is none of these things.
The songs lull but don’t soar, and the tone and key from Palace stay virtually the same throughout. This isn’t a bad album – in fact, it’s quite easy listening – but it’s gravely in need of some variety. The tracks are also generally short, save for the rhythmic, almost-anthemic finale Where The Sky Becomes Sea, at a little over five minutes. Shoals’ strength instead lies in its lyrics, which tackle fears and feelings, and find Palace exploring the human condition.
words LYNDA NASH
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