Pale / In the Time of Dangerous Men / A-Blake Records
Remember the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” commercials? In the dozen or so times that I’ve listened to Pale’s sophomore full-length, I continue to find it hard to believe that this band wasn’t born on the other side of the great big pond known as the Atlantic Ocean. Not that I’m a great connoisseur of this style of music but my CD shelves do contain a few rows of releases by bands labeled “Brit Rock” and most of those releases are circa the early ’00s. Pale seemingly fits on this shelf even though the band is from Houston, Texas; so much for the “only country music comes out of Texas” stereotype.
My first introduction to Pale came via their video for “Catastrophic Skies”, a video that I described in an issue of The Big Takeover as a mix of “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and The Lost Boys” – a visually stunning treat with a compelling story and sound. That song, originally intended to wind up on one of The Twilight soundtracks (it was bumped for a song by some guy named Thom Yorke), isn’t even the highlight on In The Time of Dangerous Men and that’s saying a lot. This is an album that should be listened to as such, not merely a collection of radio-ready singles of which you can pluck one or two of your favorites from the order-on-demand world of iTunes.