I should have known from the first few seconds of “Come Closer,” the first song of Pale Fires’ Louring Skies EP that I was going to be in for a treat. It starts with a pretty epic build up that just lets you know something big is brewing, before it hits with the dirty rock and some pretty nicely contrasting vocals. I love the soul undertones in this, which take me from an eye-closed groove to a face-squinting head-banging melee in mere moments.
The groove continues with “So Soon,” a nice swirling song with a slightly irregular tempo at times. It uses the pace switch technique with a much lighter hand here, though still containing just as much passion. I also like how the melody evolves as the song plays through. “Sky Dance,” which appears at the end of the EP, is a similarly swirling song with the same other worldly sound. It kind of reminds me of an adventure song that would appear in a game like “Spyro the Dragon.” Though I was already fully convinced of the band’s aptitude and flair for melody, “Burn Alone” surprised me with how elegant the initial notes were, leading into a buttery melody poured over grating guitars. It’s clearly slower than the first few songs, but I still hesitate to call it a slow song; the chorus has a nice punch to it.
I think it’s pretty cool that they added intermissions to the EP, which could have really been called segues given their sound and purpose. The first “Intermission” is just so….grungy. It’s the kind of song that makes you scrunch your face and wildly air guitar, and perhaps kick an amp over or something, though it still sounds somewhat restrained due to the fact that only one or two instruments lend sound to it. The second “Intermission (The Egg)” is almost a complete opposite to the first intermission. Feeding off of the beauty of “Burn Alone,” it’s a song drenched in feeling and delicacy. The use of the sounds of nature really brought it together.
My absolute favorite song was “Louring Skies,” the title track. That song has a KILLER melody – I could listen to it nonstop for days and never get tired of it. I especially loved how halfway through some heavier sounds were added to it to give the groove some gravity, particularly with the low-end notes. The vocals serve as the perfect mid-range glue and were just right. I’ll be playing that one on repeat for while.
This entire EP was a good listen, and I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. It perfectly mixes rock with groove and throws in some offbeat tempos and some grunge and pure adrenaline to make a really exciting, fun album. Definitely, definitely take 20 minutes out of your day and give this a listen; you will not regret it.
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