There’s something impressive with music that wasn’t planned and just sort of ‘happens’; a sort of chemistry appears that just can’t be found in other situations. Chiefly Palomino have uncovered this magic equation with their unique band name that just flows off the tongue and the Broken Still EP, four songs of melodic rock goodness that is almost impossible not to be drawn to.
I am almost afraid to get lost in the beautifully buttery melodies that appear so often throughout this EP, because the tempo and sound are guaranteed to shift with little to no warning. It makes this sound like one of those bungee rides, where you’re not quite sure of how long the cord is and so before you’re ready you’re jerked up, just to fall again – and yet the lack of predictability is exactly what makes it so much fun!
While all of the songs share the momentum swings, each has a differently influenced melody or beat that sets it apart. The introductory song “The River,” for example, utilized a smooth bluesy vibe that almost toes the line of folk. This one seems to have the most dramatic shifts in speed, oscillating very quickly between the slow soothing melody and dirty grungy rock portions.
The guitar seems to dance in “Reason I’m Here,” supplemented by strong galloping drums. Rather than relying on speed changes, this song relies more on volume to provide depth, going from loud to quiet with the same ease as before.
“Israel” only subtly shifts in speed or volume; the shining part of this song is the riff melody. It’s complex yet highly hummable and easy to remember, all at the same time. This song seemed as though it was going to rely on the melody only but alas; the last two bars of this song were unexpected and incredible.
Finally, but certainly not the least, “Ancient Banks” employs an interlude that is equal parts jam session, equal parts solo wankery that is all around pleasing to listen to. It goes into an even quieter, slower build up that leads to a satisfying burst of energy before the album wraps itself into a ball and curls up for a well-deserved nap.
As someone who really enjoys and appreciates the art of pendulum tempos and sounds, I had a ball listening to this. Everything works together so well, and yet still has this air of ‘just because’ that makes it carefree and simply fun to listen to. All in all, it was a fantastic collection of songs and I hope Chiefly Palomino makes a full length in the future.
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