An acquired taste, Canadian band Palaye Royale continue on their journey through the world of self-proclaimed “fashion art rock” with their sophomore album, ‘Boom Boom Room (Side B)’, following on from 2016’s ‘…(Side A)’ counterpart.
Three brothers – vocalist Remington Leith, guitarist Sebastian Danzig, and drummer Emerson Barret – make up the band who are named after the dance hall where their grandparents first met in the 1950s.
Opener ‘Death Dance’ brings in the record with a simple drum beat and submarine sounding radar beep, before being followed by a fuzzy guitar riff and almost rap-like vocal work over top before gradually building to an undeniably catchy sing-along chorus. These seem to be a focal point for every track on the record, with much more emphasis and energy into them compared to much more solemn and quiet verses.
This band definitely have a very individual sound, and a lot of that is down to the vocals. Remington has a rather distinct way of pronouncing certain words with an almost distinct twang to his voice. Add to this the general raspiness in his voice, especially when shouting lines on tracks such as ‘Teen Heartbreak Queen’ and the passionate projection of the choruses in ‘Mrs. Infamous’ and you’ll find that his talents are undeniable and, though has a very competent band supporting him, he’s very much the centerpiece of what goes on.
That being said, the record is scattered with some great and memorable riffs thanks to axe-man Sebastian Danzig. This is particularly true on ‘Hospital Beds’ and ‘You’ll Be Fine’, giving off the same sort of energised and pumped up feeling you get from the Blur classic, ‘Song 2’.
The aforementioned ‘You’ll Be Fine’ is a certain stand-out inclusion here, stacked with some really impressive riffs that alone could drive this song onto your favourite playlists very quickly. With a good mix of wavy effects, full-on distortion and clean sections, along with an impressive use of tempo changes, the undeniably catchy vocal hooks add to this to make a very grandiose feeling that at times, almost feels like you’re at a carnival before being jolted into a bustling festival experience, dancing with your friends.
Despite the odd impressive cut here and there, there’s not much to take from ‘Boom Boom Room (Side B)’ to distinguish Palaye Royale as an original or overly interesting prospect, and therefore not quite cutting them as an upper echelon band just yet.