REVIEW BY DESH KAPUR
PALE WAVES’ third album, “UNWANTED”, was released on 12 August 2022. On Dirty Hits records ORDER HERE
Pale Waves are Heather Baron-Gracie (vocals/guitarist), Ciara Doran (drummer), Hugo Silvani (guitarist) and Charlie Wood (bassist).
So, it was time to sit down with the new Pale Waves long player, “Unwanted”. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Zakk Cervini, whose credits read like a who’s who of alt-rock royalty – from Blink 182 and Modern Baseball to Halsey and Machine Gun Kelly. “Unwanted” is the follow-up to the band’s very successful 2nd album “Who Am I?”, which peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart, also hitting number one on the UK Independent Albums Chart. So could this record keep the band’s momentum flying forward and, more importantly, keep their ever-growing fan base happy?
As I hit the play button on my music player, the opening lines of “Lies” are almost spat out by Heather “You called it love but it never had that feeling, ripped out my heart and left it bleeding”. Underpinned by fuzzy guitar before it drops out completely and it’s just her voice and slightly military sounding drums that drive this track forward, and I am smiling, thinking this is going to be a very good record.
Track by track reverberate in my headphones; it’s a record full of attitude and offers no apologies for that. This new body of work still retains their trademark jangly guitars, big choruses, melodies and hooks galore and Heather Baron- Gracie’s voice shines on every track; a beautiful hybrid of Avril Lavigne and Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries).
“Unwanted” is angsty but doesn’t overplay it’s hand, it’s not just four-on-the-floor indie pop punk, it also floors you with heart-wrenching ballads as Heather Baron-Grace bares her soul on tracks like “The Hard Way” and “Without You”. It side-steps into darker, more hedonistic edgier places, exploring vanity, anger, and jealousy, which see Heather Baron-Gracie channelling her darker emotions and she holds nothing back.
“Unwanted” is a great pop/punk record and shines with it’s honesty.
3/ The Hard Way
7/ Without You
8/ Only Problem
9/ You’re So Vain
10/ Reasons To Live
12/ Act My Age
13/ So Sick (Of Missing You)
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