Secret demos.

by Miz DeShannon Rating: Release Date:

Who'd name their band after a West Indian barbers in Moss Side...? Mark Vernon, that's who. Previously of short-lived but much-loved duo Brown Brogues, he set up shop some time ago with a handful of other musicians (Kim Thompson – bass, Andrew Richardson – drums, Helen Dale – keys) to create glam garage rock'n'roll punk Goth drone outfit Peace And Love Barber Shop Muhammad Ali (RIP the big man).

 

Having trailed around the country recently with fellow Mancs PINS, PALBMA (sorry about all the caps) have been holed away in some dark place, laying down more drone and getting together some new releases to follow on from their ‘Peace and Love EP’.

 

We had the distinct pleasure of getting our hands on a couple of the newly formed offerings, just to give you the heads up on what the foursome are up to. So totally secret though, we don't even have a release date for the finished things.

 

Here goes…

 

'Clean Corpse'

 

Feedback squeal, and in blasts Thompson's signature slow and heavy driving bass backed by some barbarously heavy drumming. The unnerving chilling wail of Vernon's vocal follows – lots of reverb and effects on it, it sounds like he’s stood quite a distance away in an echoing Gothic crypt. Scene set.

 

Not particularly intricate in layers and songwriting, but perfectly balanced range of noises, stop and drop riffs and drum rolls. More bass, more wails, a few more drops and drum rolls – all-in-all this is so low set it's almost doom.

 

'Hang My Body Lo'

 

An intro of tinny guitar and cymbal crashes this one’s punk simplicity at its finest.  With a nicely hooky chorus, it's PALBMA's pop side (think about their anthemic oldie ‘Hollow Bones’) – crashing top-end sounds and yet still with that brutal driving bass to keep everything in-line. Dale's keys flash through with some quivering spell-binding Addams Family vibes going on in the background.

 

Tracks from these guys tend to have that same messiness of those old garage rock outfits like The Keggs or The Rats, forms now seen in the likes of Ty Segall and Shellac – dirty, grungy, somewhat incoherent, but it's not shit. Definitely not. These things are really well-written and precisely planned out. If they weren't they'd just be a wall of noise and even more incoherent sounds than just the vocals.

 

If you’ve never seen PALBMA live, then you should – mean and moody and decidedly sultry, and that’s just Vernon. There's some alchemy going on here that's for sure.

 

Release date TBC – keep your eye on our ‘reviews’ section…

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