Houston Calling

Review: Pale, In The Time Of Dangerous Men + listening party + CD release show

April 13th, 2011 · 6 Comments

In The Time Of Dangerous Men
A Blake Records

Last year, Pale released the single and video for “Catastrophic Skies.” While the song wasn’t exactly a stretch for the band, there were brief hints of a musical shift in focus. In The Time Of Dangerous Men finds the foursome interjecting rawer-edged garage and danceable 80’s New Wave into the over-the-top bombast that’s defined the band’s music for years. For a band best known for its Muse-esque anthems, this is a surprising–albeit welcome–change.

Touches of Radiohead, U2, and Disintegration-era Cure also permeate the new album. From the “Paranoid Android”-influenced “An Exploding Whisper” and “Catastrophic Skies” to “Bad Intel”‘s sharp-edged and spacey guitars, the Houston-based band–vocalist/guitarist Calvin Stanley, guitarist/keyboardist Robb Moore, bassist Stephen Wesson, and drummer Travis Middour–creates the album’s moody flow by interspersing radio-friendly rock anthems with dramatic Britrock flourishes.

Lyrically, Stanley is at his introspective, self-doubting best on much of the album. On “Soon,” he asks, “How can we find our way when all we see are ways out?” and on “Bad Intel,” he hits back with “I thought you said you were mine / I hope you hurt when you find out what it takes to take from those who can’t take anymore…” His inability to shed his lovelorn past helps listeners draw parallels to their own relationships. Though many of the songs are odes to lost loves, Stanley also questions the viability of being in a band (“Shout til your head blows off / If they don’t listen, then you make them see / you keep repeating til they believe”) and waxes apocalyptic on “Hushed Tones For Chosen Ones,” on which he croons, “On our way to make a better world / We’re gonna burn this one down.”

Pale always shoots big with its music. If 2007’s Mandatory Ambulance EP was the band moving forward, In The Time Of Dangerous Men is Pale propelling itself into a likely prosperous future.

Pale hosts a listening party for the new album at Dirt Bar tomorrow night (Thursday, 4.14.11) at 7pm. The band plays its CD release show at Houston’s Warehouse Live on Thursday, 4.28.11. Visit the band online at www.palerocks.com, where you can listen to clips from the new album.

Watch Pale’s “Catastrophic Skies” video after the jump… 

Tags: Music · Reviews · Show listings

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rebecca Bertot // Apr 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Awesome review!

  • 2 Rebecca Bertot // Apr 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I’m so glad someone showed me this band.

  • 3 Houston Lover // Apr 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Agree 100%, this band is going places!

  • 4 SPACE CITY ROCK » Pale CD Release, Tonight at Warehouse Live // Apr 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    […] band’s newest stuff sounds like, head on over to Houston Calling, where David Cobb‘s written a few times about the band […]

  • 5 Shelley Hayes // May 30, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Amazing Video! It was great meeting you Calvin, Remy and Jason. I can’t wait to see the newest video!

  • 6 Houston Calling’s favorite albums of 2011 // Dec 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    […] 10. Pale, In The Time Of Dangerous Men (A Blake) Houston rock band Pale is one of the most ambitious groups in town, and the band’s appetite for the big time is as big as their sound (and their videos). This album further proves that Blue October shouldn’t be the only rock band from Houston in the spotlight. Here’s what I wrote about the album in my review: […]

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