With the likes of scene flag bearers Gallows inking major label record deals, not to mention the bold daytime airings of While She Sleeps et al on mainstream radio, the argument that UK hardcore has ever never been so widely recognized is somewhat iron-clad. Cause for celebration this may be, yet it often remains the case that a quick scan below the parapet brings to light an equally thrilling array of vicious delights. Look no further than Woking quintet Palm Reader for testament to the underground’s enduring fertility.
A genre juggling hybrid of thoroughly modern punk fueled savagery, there’s simply no escaping the fact that ‘Beside The Ones We Love’, the band’s sophomore effort, represents a sky-scraping peak for contemporary hardcore. Pulling the pin on ‘I Watched The Fire Chase My Tongue’, a seething pitch black maelstrom of metallic intensity, the breadth of ideas and blueprint burning ingenuity which follows is startling.
Highlights lurch at us from every corner, from ‘By The Ground, We Are Defined’ and its clattering darkness, the searing technical clout of ‘Stacks’ and staggering closing opus ‘Unabridged’, which displays a progressive understanding and dynamic know how, which stands easily on par with such elder statesmen as Converge or any of their boundary vaulting ilk.
Equal parts scabby knuckled muscularity and towering melodic eloquence (‘Traveled Paths’), Palm Reader encapsulate all the forwards looking gumption of the scene’s most enterprising acts. At a time when an endless conveyor belt of budding hopefuls look to stake their claim, these pissed off young men fuse their venomous stomp with more ideas than most will manage in their entire career. ‘Beside The Ones We Love’ overwhelmingly betters even the most remarkable of their peers.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)