Self-described ‘Melbourne Thrash-Pop’ and obvious Star Wars fans, The Palpatines are here with their self-titled EP. The Palpatines is the band’s debut release, following on from single “Hopeless Case”, released in 2017.
I remember my first few listens to the lead single “A Million Times”, along with a few views of the accompanying music video, and feeling like the song had been written for me. That’s a pretty common theme with these ratbag, surf, punky, thrashy, pop bands (bands like SKEGGS or Dune Rats come to mind). It’s like listening to a bunch of misfits, with common interests, who make music that I find catchy. There is no real grand power to it, but these aren’t songs that are supposed to change the world. The Palpatines are here to play some songs, have a good time while doing it and then go get plastered afterwards.
Clocking in at a glorious twelve minutes, I can promise you that The Palpatines have no time to waste and this EP is straight down to business. I would highly recommend listening to this in the car, heading to the beach with a few mates and a few beers along for the ride. Each song has that one element that keeps drawing the listener back in. For me, in the third track “No Spine”, it was the repetition of “Maybe I’ll forget it, maybe I’ll forget it, maybe I’ll forget it…” I’m sure you catch the drift. In the track “Pick Me Up”, it is the non-lyrical lyrics. I actually did some research into this phenomenon and it’s referred to as ‘vocalise’ (pronounced ‘voh-kuh-leez’); the use of vowel sounds or nonsense words in music to create a melody. The best I could describe the sounds in “Pick Me Up” would be “Oooo”s and they complement the soft, ringing guitar beautifully.
For just a two-piece, I have to admit I’m rather impressed and would love to see how the duo mix it up on stage together. With Dan on guitar and vocals, Mac on drums and vocals, it’s hard to imagine how these guys have a spare hand to drink with. The spirit of the EP rises and slows in a very natural progression, it’s not an easy feat to pull off with twelve minutes of wriggle room. But I can happily say that no part of the album felt jarring to hear. Even on a repeat, the final track “Ruby” flows into the opener “A Million Times” in an energetic way that brings me back to my feet.
I’m actually rather surprised at the bands tone and feel coming from Melbourne. At the risk of sounding ridiculous, each state normally has a different sound of acts coming from it, the most obvious in history would be the Seattle grunge movement of the 90s. Closely similar misfit, surf pop acts like Violent Soho and DZ Deathrays, along with the acts mentioned earlier are all Queensland coastal bands. I’m all for the emergence of Melbourne thrash-pop and I hope The Palpatines make their way up to coastal Queensland soon to have a dance. If you haven’t checked out The Palpatines yet, do it. If you’re too time poor to spare twelve minutes on a killer upcoming band, then I’m surprised you’re reading this.
All in all, I loved this EP and I can’t wait to see The Palpatines make their way across radio waves, as well as the country. Make sure to catch them in your city when you can and crack a cold one for us all. Long live The Palpatines!
Energetic sound. Versatile with mood across the EP. Perfect taste of what is to come from The Palpatines.
Though the songs of the EP were feelgood and easily enjoyed, I wasn't entirely clear on any intended meaning behind them.