University-era discoveries still come good. For those faithful Independent attendees of Sunderland, The Pale White will be notorious. Or at least, it should be. Those guzzling down blue pints and pretending they know the words to the one Gerry Cinnamon track always played – week in, week out – should be aware of The Pale White. They are making waves once more, this time with EP A New Breed. It is a new dawn for The Pale White – though this means there needs to be a sound and diversion which removes it from what they were previously doing for the new EP. The clue is in the title. If this is The Pale White in their next steps, then they may have something to gear up and carry on with.
Surefire hits are now their aim, though The Pale White still find themselves drumming up the confidence needed to return to the fold with a fully-fledged album. Their six-track EP is a light number which warrants a few tour dates of course, but A New Breed is nothing of the sort. It is more the same from The Pale White, though for returning fans this will almost certainly be a gift. Opener and parking ticket request Validate Me is a subtle beginning which soon loses its way – away from the track of The Verve-like percussion and instrumental bliss into a cacophony of weak lyrical materialisations. It is a decent set of instrumentals which drown out the lyrics, but the fading style and genre-switching moments which try and find a steady pace should be something sorted before entering the recording studio.
It sounds like this, it sounds like that, The Pale White still has their influences close to their heart. They seep in a little too often, though strengthen the likes of Dogs. Heavy guitar rock and a shift away from the indie scene which moulded them can be heard. Picking up the pace with How Far Can You Push A Man? a tonal replica of the song preceding it, brings out the best of this latest release. Fine if clunky guitar rock without the wind in its sails to go much further than a few listens. Maybe it worked better with blue pints sloshing around your stomach. Distorted noise box List of Enemies must have listeners on there as well for how clashing and out of step the track is.
Clawing at their old image and dragging themselves into a future nobody sounds truly committed to, A New Breed is a crossroads moment for The Pale White. Or, at least, the six-track EP presents itself as such. It is more of the same but with distortion and a plain toast style of guitar music layered over the top. Empty in the head and seemingly bereft of heart – the likes of Royal Blood would love these as an opener. Not a bad place to find yourself when it comes to gaining fans, but at what cost? The Pale White let their uniqueness slip away as they conform to modern rock standards in the hopes of reaching those wider audiences. A New Breed is proof of that.