As they introduced themselves to us with their debut release, we introduce you to the individual Weirdo Wonk sounds of Sly Palms and one magnetically enjoyable self-titled debut EP. From the ever giving Bristol music scene, the British quintet brew up their own individual fusion of garage, psych, and blues rock described as “Nick Cave meets Go Go Bordello through the Doors.” All are references which add up as you listen to the five tracks making up their first release but also imagine the involvement of essences from My Baby, 13th Floor Elevators, and Horse Party and you have a fuller if still not quite accurate inkling to the band’s imaginative adventure.
Recorded at Malthouse Studios with Dom Mitchinson (Spectres, Oliver Wilde), the EP quickly has ears enticed with Bottle Of Sin, the new single from Sly Palms. Immediately the opener teases and tempts with its spicy percussive grooving and new wave like movement, early XTC coming to mind in the song’s unpredictable quirkiness before things settle a touch around the vocal lure of keyboardist Louise Schwarz. Poking beats and jabbing swings collude with her fine vocals, that eighties hue merging with a brewing blues revelry as the song grows even more flirtatious and irresistible with each passing second. Additional discord only adds to the pleasure, the song mere notes away from chaos at times and only blossoming with boldness because of it.
Things are a touch more reserved from hereon in across the EP but no less enjoyable as the swarthy rock ‘n’ roll of Spanish Song proves. With sultry blues melodies uniting with hazy psych nurtured sighs, the song has the same mischievous nature as its predecessor but strolls along with a less agitated gait. Lead vocals this time are taken by guitarist Ian Cross, or it could be fellow string picker Alex Davies or indeed drummer Jake Cheesman; whoever the supplier their grainy tone only adds to the Tom Waits spiced proposal swiftly tempting and pleasing ears. The warm keys and floating harmonies of Schwarz similarly enthral and add to a creative drama which is no less potent within next up River Rhein. With a rockabilly/country rock coaxing to its catchy shuffle, the song has the body bouncing, gently at first but with increasing vigour as crescendos of rock ‘n’ roll erupt across its increasingly heated body.
The bass of Jaime Botella is a perpetually appetising throb within all tracks, adding an instinctive pulse and often growl which is especially alluring within the more unkempt climate of Slaughterhouse. The track is superb, challenging the first for best track honours with its rowdy rock ‘n’ roll and expectation defeating devilment of sound and imagination.
The more lo-fi presence and touch of Wall brings things to a potent close, the song a dance of harmonies and rattling rhythms as the band weaves another slice of off kilter sound as blues, garage, and psych rock as it is simply ear exciting rock ‘n’ roll.
With potential as vocal in every song as existing imagination and adventure, Sly Palms have made a powerfully persuasive introduction to themselves with their debut. Already they have nurtured something unique about themselves and intriguingly we, like they, have only just scratched the surface.
The Sly Palms EP is released July 14th.
14/07/17 – E.P. Launch Party @ The Old England
10/08/17 – The Louisiana, Bristol
24/11/17 – St. James’ Wine Vaults, Bath
Pete RingMaster 11/07/2017
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