In a climate of non-specific subgenres and tonal styles, there’s a lot to be said about Palehorse’s decision to drop a straight-up metal LP. The group’s new album, Looking Wet in Public, is a no-frills recording devoid of confusion, bells or whistles. Some musicians try too hard to be different, so it’s refreshing to hear a band play by the book.
Public quickly hammers itself into form on the opening track “Half Lizard / Half Lizard,” with lyrics steeped in loneliness and isolation. The song is quintessential metal, shifting between heavy power chords and calmer fits of composed feedback. With each song, Palehorse teeters between darkness and black tar levels of sludge. The band wants to take you deep into awkwardly dark perceptions of reality.
Lead single “The Shower” starts off slowly. Resembling later Tool compositions, it’s a slowly building meditation on spiking the dullness of normal life with drunkenness and having to clean yourself up after. Album closer “1893” thrives using complex drum patterns and low-end guitar riffs, making it tough to tell the difference between guitar and bass. With these and other tracks, Palehorse creates a dramatic soundtrack, a full-on instrumental assault that makes the mundane seem grandiose and royally hellacious.
— Jordannah Elizabeth