Palehound is a band getting some serious buzz. They are on Exploding In Sound Records (label home of Ovlov, Fat History Month, Pile, Speedy Ortiz, and most of the other ground breaking music happening in New England) and rumor has it they were a "Band to look out for" at this years CMJ. While they hail from several locations, one of those locations is CT. I had the chance to do an email interview with the band and review their debut EP "Bent Nail". Check it out below!
Adam: First things first, tell me about your time at Buck's Rock Camp in New Milford, CT. and how you all met?
Ellen Kempner: We actually didn't all meet at Buck's Rock. Max and I met while we were in high school and started playing together during my junior year and his freshman year in a guitar/vox/drums duo called Cheerleader that would basically just miserably play local teen centers. One of our music teachers used to constantly harass us about needing a bass player but we completely ignored him until I met Thom last summer while working at Buck's Rock with Ben, who I've known for a few years now. When I got signed to Exploding In Sound I was totally band-less and looking for a new lineup so it was basically a no brainer to have Max play and I'd always really respected/admired Ben's playing so I asked him to get involved. As for Thom, I'd never even heard him play bass when I asked him to join, I just knew that he was a super awesome dude and had been playing in bands with Ben for years so totally trusted that he'd be a good fit. The four of us are now crazy close and I really could not have asked for better musicians to play with.
Adam: Are there any particular places/venues in CT that you really enjoy performing at?
Thom Lombardi: My favorite place where Ben and I performed Blue (Da Ba Dee) - Eiffel 65, was at a bar called S.J. Barrigton's. They host this really crazy karaoke night on Saturdays. It's right off the main drag on Kent Rd. If you happen to plop by on a Saturday night over the summer, almost the entire Buck's Rock staff will be there. It sure is a sight to see
Ben Scherer: lol @ thom
Besides that local CT bands Failures Art and Ovlov have been getting a lot of playtime on my iPod.
Drooler opens up the EP with dreamy guitar and vocal melodies and then the drums and bass kick in and bring this to a full groove. The hazy and affecting vocals of Ellen Kempner fill the song with vibrato. This song works through several layers of style, from jangled pop to noise and further still.
Psycho Speak has a more folky flavor but is still very engaging. This song despite being very poppy is a very "outsider music" type song, with awkward lyrics and timing changes. It is an absolute gem of a song.
Harvest, while sparse on accompaniment is crazy gorgeous. I think the vocal work on this song is especially wonderful, Ellen knows exactly when to show off and when to recede.
Pet Carrot should be a lead single for this band. Full of tight beats and blasts of fuzzed out guitar, this song is solid and strong. Doubled falsetto vocals make this track stand out with a real attitude. The composition itself is wonderfully groovy. The bass work on this song is superb!
I Get Clean is dark and sweet with a "home recorded in the 90's" vibe. The vocal melodies and even some of the guitar work is very reminiscent of Speedy Ortiz in the best ways. It also has some strong Sebadoh vibes. More amazing bass work in this song!
Flytrap closes out the set of songs with a fluttering and awkward bass line and vocals about regret. It is an unsettling way to end this collection of "damaged" pop, but I always like a challenging conclusion. One thing is for certain, it leaves you wanting so much more!