It's edging on eleven months since we last featured London based electro duo Pale, but digging through the Stereofox archives, it barely feels like yesterday. Taking 9 months out to concentrate on writing, this aptly named EP is our first taste of a fresh outfit already champing at the bit to make a name for themselves. With a new, grittier sound that draws clear inspiration across a whole arc of genres, Pale have got themselves firmly back in the saddle.
Title track "Comeback" is a slow-jam style lamentation of lost love replete with a weeping guitar solo and echoing, Massive Attack style percussion. Pale have clearly been digging through their box of early 90's trip hop vinyls and it pays dividends in the final result, making "Comeback" as strong a lead single as they could hope for.
With such a beautifully hookey opener, it leaves the field wide open for "Two Wrongs" to step up to the base. If they made prizes for ridiculously catchy pre-chorus', "Two Wrongs" would take home the gold every time and the warm, chewy synths are almost enough to make mullets feel cool again. Almost.
Third track "New Man" can only be described as a bizarre trip through 80's cinema history. It's like the illegitimate soundtrack love child of Tron, The Terminator and Blade Runner curated by David Bowie at his lowest "Space Oddity" moment. Dark and brooding to the point of oblivion, Pale have gotten as close to capturing the essence of 80's cinema as they could have hoped.
Closing track "Silence" is perhaps the most laid back and accessible track to fans of their original material. Short and to the point, it feels like the yin to the "New Man" yang. Airy, graceful and erring on the edge of joyous, it's a fitting end to an EP that Pale will surely hope to be a stepping stone to the limelight.
"The Comeback EP" has all the right ideas and deliverance to allow Pale a serious stab at greater things and the depth of influence is astonishing. The brief hiatus has allowed them time to write some of the freshest material we've seen in recent months, putting them up there with the likes of Kiwi duo BROODS for potential. It'll be interesting to see what happens now, but I've got a sneaking suspicion Pale aren't going to be shying away from stardom any time soon.