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PACESHIFTERS - 'Waiting To Derail' Album Review


1. Dead Eyes

2. Stranger

3. Unfolded Pieces

4. My Getaway

5. Someday

6. Yearning Desire

7. Draw A Blank

8. Adore

9, Cut N Run

10. Exhausted

11. Boundaries

12. Yearning Desire (Live)

13. Stranger (Live)

14. My Getaway (Live)

15. Unfolded Pieces (Live)

16. Someday (Live)

17. Dead Eyes (Live)

18. Cut N Run (Live)

Welcome to my first review of 2018 and in honour of that occasion, this review contains a quiz. In this piece, there will feature possibly the most popular two word phrase used every January. See if you can guess before we get there…answers on a BitCoin please!

Dutch three piece PACESHIFTERS were formed in 2008 and have spent a great deal of their career building a live following, with support slots for the likes of Therapy?, Deep Purple and Triggerfinger. They are described as a “Dutch Noise Rock Trio” and 2017 saw them unleash their latest album 'Waiting To Derail'. So the question is – are 18 (7 of which are live versions) tracks of Dutch Noise Rock any good?

Well…I tried…honestly I did try to like this album. Like the person tucking their wrist-born step counter away discreetly in the drawer, I tried. Like the person strategically altering the use by date on their fat (and taste) free jojoba ash snack bars as an excuse to get rid of them…I tried.

Album opener 'Dead Eyes' opens and immediately makes you think you’re listening to 'Bar Tender and the Thief' and at least three times during the song I thought “Heart Shaped Box” had somehow bled into my headphones. The remainder of the (studio) album carried on in the same vein…that nagging feeling that you’ve heard this before, somewhere else ('Getaway' just sounds, vocally, like 'In Utero' era Nirvana).

Now I know there are a limited number of chords and you’re bound to get some similaries (Taxman/Start; Waking Up/No More Heroes) but there are few things that turn me off more than listening to something and thinking “Hang on, that’s such and such…only not as good”. What’s more frustrating is that the live versions of the tracks show a band that’s tight and talented and sounding more real than the one in the studio…I’m currently reading Miles Hunt’s diaries and he’s bemoaning all the dicking about in the studio with the equipment when all he wants to do is play and I get the feeling that it’s kind of the same thing with the PACESHIFTERS – too many toys and too much time in the studio? The only slightly odd thing about the “live” tracks is that they don’t appear to have been recorded at a show…more like a live session for a radio show. It’d be nice to hear them with an audience and see how the songs take on different forms.

On the basis of the studio album, PACESHIFTERS are not for me. On the basis of the live (but a bit sterile) tracks, I’d definitely go and see them. They’re touring the UK in February so check them out.

Review - Chris Watson

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