Do you like early 90’s alt rock? Pale Angels sure do. The transatlantic trio, consisting of Mike Santostefano (currently of Crimes, formerly of Static Radio NJ), Jamie Morrison (of The Arteries and Ssssnakes), and new recruit Chris Krause (of both Crimes and Rescuer), have put together Imaginary People: an album that will make you want to grow out your hair, put on your dirtiest flannel and spend your days wallowing in misery.
Throughout the ten tracks on Imaginary People, Pale Angels turn the fuzz up to 11 and don’t let down, whether they’re playing raw, intense jams (“I’m Nobody”, “Ditch Digger”) or slowing down for a more melodic tune (“Schizophrenic Affair”). Santostefano spends most of the time howling his way through the album, even when the band is taking it slow he’s still got that slacker wail that makes grunge so appealing to apathetic youth. Put all of these things together and it’s almost like if The Vines had written less piano-based tunes and got Noel Gallagher to produce their first album.
While Imaginary People is certainly a listenable release, particularly for fans of grunge and Britpop, it’s very much a one trick pony and a lot of the tracks bleed into one another to the point that it’s hard to tell them apart. Songs like “Schizophrenic Affair” and “Dreamer” change the pacing and energy to help diversify the album, but even songs like those are still deeply rooted in the early 90’s alternative sound. It’s a fun throwback project to put on, but there’s not much else that this album has going on. To quote the great Garth Algar (and to add a level of irony by taking a line from a 90’s movie): “live in the now!”
3 / 5
RIYL: Nirvana, The Vines, Hüsker Dü