Pale's album, In The Time Of Dangerous Men, will probably be too indie-rock sounding for most Rock My Monkey readers. That doesn't mean this band or album sucks, but they are definitely not a hard rocking, throw back a beer after a long day kind of band. They're more atmospheric, a bit moody, teetering on a whiny style, but not so much that you could call them emo. I think they have potential, but they are missing a bit of "oomph" to their sound.
The lyrics at least have some thought to them, even if they aren't epic or deep. A lot of the choruses repeat what I'm sure the band intended to be meaningful, but most of the time that's a swing and a miss. At least it's more clever than just "oh baby, I need you" or other obvious tripe attempting to talk your girl out of her panties. The shallow end of the lyrical pool still lets you create some kind of splash.
You can tell when one song ends and the next one begins on In The Time Of Dangerous Men, but most of the songs still sound like minor variations of each other. This makes it good for background music, but not if you're trying to catch a new listener's interest. After several listens I still can't pick out one outstanding track, except for the one heavier (not heavy) song, Our Lone Star Shines, that sounded like it was from a different band.
Here are a few things I would suggest the band do a little differently to keep my interest past a few listens. Songs like My Final Warning and Catastrophic Skies go on for too long. I get they were trying for a certain vibe, but it felt like an endurance test at the three minute mark, let alone at the four minute mark, and beyond. A lot of the songs on the album are past four minutes, and that's just too much emoting and feeling for me after twelve songs' worth. They're good, but they'd be better if they ended even thirty seconds earlier.
This album won't put you in the right mood to listen to it. You have to be feeling pretty mellow already to be able to enjoy it. In The Time Of Dangerous Men is a solid album, but it has nothing outstanding to set Pale above the pack of bands that sound a lot like they do. The singer has a good voice, which would benefit from staying away from the high notes, and so many "oooh ooohs" as filler, and the band all obviously know how to play their instruments. But Pale is missing that spark that will light a fire in the listener and make them seek out more of what they have to offer. With time I think they could get there, especially if they continue in the vein of songs like Our Lone Star Shines. But this album won't be the one to break them big.
Despite a few issues with it, I really did like this album. It was good mood music, good to play in the background while I worked. But my tastes are definitely more towards the "this band wouldn't survive three seconds onstage opening for Motorhead" end of the listening spectrum. The heaviest song on the album is Our Lone Star Shines (also one of the shortest, which I don't think is a coincidence), but still probably isn't heavy enough for a typical RMM reader.
Most RMM readers aren't going to even give this band a listen. But for those who are secure enough in their self-assigned gender role to take the chance, I don't think you'll rush to turn it off. Wait for that mellow mood to strike you. I think you then may kick back, sip that beer instead of chug it, and imagine the members of Pale walking into a biker bar. Then ponder all the permutations of events that could ensue from there. There's value in being able to let your imagine wander like that. Give it a go with Pale's In The Time Of Dangerous Men!