Overall Score: 9/10 Musicanship: 8/10 Punk Rock Fury: 9/10 Crossover Potential: 9/10 Pros: As Well Realised As A Hardcore Album Could Possibly Be. Cons: Not Inventing The Wheel... Just Perfecting It.
Ever since the early noughties hardcore boom the genre has become a viable path into the rock world mainstream rather than a DIY reaction to it. For the United Kingdom the arrival, and wonderfully surprising, success of Gallows may have seemed as if it were to be the peak of the story. What actually happened was, rather than the end, it was just the beginning. Their formula was honed, refined and, VERY occasionally, improved by the likes of The Ghost Of A Thousand, Feed The Rhino, The James Cleaver Quintet, Polar and many more. Every story needs a good ending though, and Palm Reader may have delivered it.
It’s not impossible, but it is very doubtful, that this sound that has become so widely recognisable will be bettered by anyone in the foreseeable future as the songs you hear on Bad Weather. If last year’s debut four track EP was an exciting teaser that showed promise, this album is that promise lived up to times infinity. Short opener Unwanted Guest (Grace Part 1) is a huge sounding slab of pummelling, driving metallic hardcore and it’s just Palm Reader revving the engine. From then on the band cover every possible facet of modern punk rock and nail it without fail. Uncomfortably Lucid is Every Time I Die’s liquor swigging, last gang in town swagger. Smack Hound sounds like The Dillinger Escape Plan trading blows with The Bronx. The slower, half ballad Noble Host (Grace Part 3) shows they understand dynamics as well as Converge or any other progressive hardcore act going. Seeing And Believing Are Two Different Things takes the whole lot, crams it up into a ball and lets it implode, it will be a genuine anthem in six months. And although there is nothing especially original per say about any of these songs, the quality of the musicianship, song writing, delivery and production just stands so far above practically anything of its ilk that you barely shrug when you realise it.
It seems like a long time ago that bands from the UK playing hardcore were unable to break out of the confines of the underground scene, but times have changed. Palm Reader may have just changed them again. The UK scene has peaked, good luck topping this.