EP: Palm Reader – Palm Reader

Release Date: March 12th, 2012
Label: Unsigned
Website: None available
Facebook: www.facebook.com/palmreaderuk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/wearepalmreader


‘Succinct’ is definitely one word to describe Woking’s Palm Reader. Their short-but-brutally sweet bio reads more like a mantra; one that is viciously adhered to. And when said bio-cum-mantra gives you the songs on offer here, you know it’s a good one. The five-piece have been taken under the wing of Gallows bassist Stuart Gili-Ross‘ management company and earned themselves a fistful of plaudits from other music publications in the short time since their formation. After the first listen to this self-titled EP, it gives this publication no choice but to follow suit.

‘Seeing And Believing Are Two Different Things’ throws everything into the mix and pulls no punches in the process. With pounding riffs giving way to some slick finger-tapping, it hints that this release is home to some fine examples of technical trickery and ability, backed up strongly by the solo that sees the track out. These leads wouldn’t sound out of place on your favourite air guitar tracks. That last sentence doesn’t really suggest any sense of innovation, but the way the leads float over the carnage beneath brings something entirely new to the table.

‘War Between The Head And The Heart’ carries on in much the same vein, running rings around the rest of the kids in the hardcore playground like the bastard son of Every Time I Die and Retox. The gutter-borne harmonies make for some dirty grooves, that are again coupled with some great virtuosity on the guitar front. It’s refreshing to hear some blistering fretwork from a genre overly-populated by bands with a penchant for droning riffs.

A quick glance at the length of ‘What Are Friends For?’ suggests a short and not-so-sweet blast of fury, but when it eventually drags itself into your headphones with all its swagger it makes for a nice change of pace. It’s a slow-burner and minimal in the best possible way. ‘Fall Further’ bolts before the stable door has even been unlatched and hurtles along before making way for some great hammering riffs. “Get me home in one piece” howls vocalist Josh McKeown; this EP can’t promise that it’ll do that however, with all its ferocity. The snarling guitars, relentless rhythm section and soaring leads are hurled at you, giving your ears a beating they’ll be thankful for.

To sum up what’s on offer here is a challenge. It’s brutal, impressive and surprising. With their tearing up of the hardcore rulebook, Palm Reader demand your attention, and if you ain’t gonna give them that attention, more fool you. A blistering 4-track, no doubt, and a warning to other hardcore acts around – this is what you’ve gotta compete with. No way is that gonna be easy. “We are Palm Reader. We play loud. We play heavy. We play hard. We play fast” the band say. They can add “We play great hardcore” to that too.

Written by Ryan Williams

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