Pale Man Made 
Show of Hands
/pinch; 2004/



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Pale Man Made is a half girl half boy band from Newcastle, England. They have just released this single entitled ‘Show of Hands’ made up of 3 songs. The band that I’m much inclined to mention regarding influences is The Fall, Brix Smith era (especially from This Nation’s Saving Grace to The Frenz Experiment). Pale Man Made’s sound is much more modern though. The second song entitled ‘Winning Streak’ is particularly reminiscent of The Fall thanks to its Mark E. Smith-esque male vocals and to a guitar line which is very similar to the leitmotiv melody of The Fall 2003 fine Czech football homage single ‘Theme from Sparta FC’. In my humble blacklisted opinion, this great noisy song should have opened the ep but then it lasts over six minutes, which is a shortcoming regarding radio airplay for example.

If ‘Show of Hands', the song after which the ep is named, features an appealing male-female vocal intercourse we are particularly fond of here at Only Angels, it does not reach the stunning urgency decorated with underlying tension that my Italian Flag favourite reached as far as this genre is concerned. This urgency which was The Fall’s main quality too tends in this number to quickly fade and give way to bubble-pop melodies flirting with fast-burner Brit-pop excess. Despite good melodies, you feel a bit disappointed that the guitars somehow yield to this Brit-pop style instead of carrying on their tense arpeggios that really match with the female vocals à la Sleater Kinney during the verses.

Anyway the overall good quality of this ep (which ends on another fine indie song, mid-tempo and easy on the ear) will surely make you listen to a subsequent full-length when the group releases one.

-Blacklisted ‘headless in a beat motel’ Igor

/mar 15th 2004/