Palindrome is the solo project for Joe Smith. He recently released a five-song EP entitled Better Days. The EP contains mostly instrumental tracks which almost feel like vignettes.
The EP opens with “Take This Brother, May it Serve You Well” which is based around a steady 4/4 beat, jangly guitar chords, bass and sparse lead guitar. The song could easily have had vocals as the guitar was just playing major and minor chords. It seemed like some kind of lead was needed. There are also some noticeable times when the song becomes off time. That being said the song had some charm.
“Slice of Me” has a bit of a ’60s psychedelic flare. The music still felt like it needed some kind of lead vocal but I liked the groove. Up next is “Late Last Night” which does contain vocals. The vocals seem to be untreated and I couldn't make out the lyrics. It sounded like he was singing in another room. A little compression and proper use of EQ could have gone a long way with this song.
“Frogs” is another hazy, moody psychedelic jazz. The lead guitar is well played and implemented in this song and I wanted to hear a couple more changes before it ended. “Better Days” is the highlight. There are some solid hooks throughout.
I’ve been listening to all type of bands for the better parts of thirty-five years and I am going to surmise that Smith is a young guy who is just getting started playing music. Better Days is a demo quality release that displays some potential but also has some basic criteria such has being off time that will have to be corrected if he wants become a professional musician.
Smith is a case of wait and see for now. He has some good ideas and I wish him luck in his evolution as a musician.
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