Pale Monsters – All This Time We Wait

BANDCAMP: https://palemonsters.bandcamp.com/track/all-this-time-we-wait

The single “All This Time We Wait” from Pale Monsters’ full length debut Are You Feeling Alive? is a great choice for a mass release track and should convert many new fans over to this Boston’s quartet’s considerable talents. The band has stirred considerable waves since first emerging with their studio debut Take What You Can Take and, led by singer/songwriter Chris Mulvey, the new single exhibits their considerable talents as a classic rock themed act, but likewise shows off their leanings in an art rock direction incorporating influences from artists like David Bowie, Pere Ubu, and the Talking Heads. It is no small accomplishment to bring hard charging rock music together with substantive concepts and songwriting, but Pale Monsters do it with a naturalness any serious fan of the style will enjoy. “All This Time We Wait” has a ton of verve and intelligence alike that, once encountered, is difficult to forget.

The song’s initial rave up sounds nearly like a brass section with some stomping drums accompanying things before the track kicks off in earnest. “All This Time We Wait” slows down a bit for the verses and de-clutters,. The stutter rhythms during those sections and multiple vocals coming together are exquisitely woven together without ever sounding like any sort of studio confection. It’s a relatively brief song, clocking at less than three minutes, and completely dispenses with any extended sort of instrumental breaks or showcase beyond some orchestral synth flourishes near the song’s end. The short length of the song is, likewise, ideal thanks to the laudable economy they show – there isn’t a single note wasted in pursuing the band’s goals and bringing the listeners in by starting the song off with its chorus is particularly effective at invoking immediacy for listeners from the first.

Mulvey’s voice is rather amazing, really. He has a classic rock vocalist bray, immensely emotive, yet properly controlled and able to attack the song without ever lapsing into overwrought nonsense. His artfulness is ideally illustrated by how he seamlessly shifts gears from the all out chorus to the laid back verses and, as the music falls away during those moments, his voice stands out from the fray stronger than ever. The song’s lyrical content is a bit elliptical, personal yet clearly suggesting many things, and the interpretative possibilities for listeners will make this an even more invigorating listen than what it might have otherwise been. Pale Monsters definitely got off to an excellent start with their first EP, but their first full length album is the fullest realization of their talents yet and this song is as representative as those efforts come. “All This Time We Wait” reminds us of what a talented songwriter and his band mates are capable of, but it also gives lie to that popular press bugaboo that engaging, top shelf rock music is a thing of the past and incapable of exerting its traditional appeal.

Sebastian Cole