Palm Reader have been one of the best bands of the UK underground hardcore scene. With their third album Braille they will surely break out of the clutches of the underground. The seething melodies and bone shaking riffs, create an intense yet gripping atmosphere. With the magnitude and quality of the songs on this album, Palm Reader must surely be considered one of the best heavy bands in the UK.
There is often scepticism when heavier bands go more melodic. In Palm Reader’s case, the addition of melody takes their songs to depths that few heavy bands reach. Much like Rolo Tomassi’s album earlier this year, the melodic parts show constraint. The use of melody draws you in before pummelling you with raw heaviness. There are points in this album that will knock you off your feet. Songs like opening track and lead single Swarm as well as The Turn perfectly encapsulates this dynamic. The latter has a throttle like grip on you, as it sucks the air from your lungs. All before an overwhelming level of heaviness fills you with raw destructive energy.
As well as the outstanding use of melody on Braille, Palm Reader have added hooks. Like all great hooks, they cling to you when you aren’t listening. And then grow as soon as you put the album back on. The beautiful thing about Palm Readers hooks is that they’re not just planted in melodic choruses. The guitar fills, pre choruses and even the drumming behind some of the verses, all become earworms after a few listens of this album. Songs like Internal Winter and Inertia seem to follow you around after you’ve listened to them.
On their third album, Braille, Palm Reader have produced their best album to date. They have focused their chaotic mathematic style and created songs with unnerving atmosphere, through the delicate addition of melody. The album sinks its claws into you and lifts you up before throwing you to the ground, time and time again. When album closer A Lover, A Shadow releases you, you will be left wanting to start the whole process over again.