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Redlands Palomino Co - By The Time You Hear This...we'll Be Gone

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 16 / 8 / 2004

Redlands Palomino Co - By The Time You Hear This...we'll Be Gone
Label: Laughing Oulaw
Format: CD


Stunningly harmony-laden debut album from London-based alt. country act the Redlands Palomino Co., the first British act to sign to Australia's much acclaimed Laughing Outlaw label

To which the first thing that enters the head after just one listen is “I damn well hope not!” Having built up a strong following on the live circuit over the last few years, London based band the Redlands Palomino Co. have finally released their debut album. Quite why it’s taken so long is a bit of a mystery. The band have built up a good reputation as a live act and it’s certainly not because there is a lack of good original material. The thirteen tracks on this Laughing Outlaw release are all strong, country rock songs, kind of like Whiskeytown but with stronger melodies (and a female singer/ songwriter in the shape of Hannah Elton-Wall who is every bit as good as that band’s Caitlin Cary, which is no small compliment) mixed with the Stones at their most rootsy and Gram influenced. The band has supported Tift Merritt, Bap Kennedy, the Arlenes, Oh Susanna and Jason Walker to name just a few. It would be fair to say that if this band is unknown to you, but any of the above artists appeal to you then so will the Redlands Palomino Co. The band are holding a launch party for 'By the Time You Hear this...' at the 100 Club in London on September 21st which would be well worth trying to catch and their planned gig at the Mean Fiddler in London on October 20th supporting Neal Casal and Richmond Fontaine also sounds like it’s going to be an evening to cherish. So they can cut it live and support the right names but what about the record? Well, it’s not going to be long on this showing before the band are headlining over some of their musical heroes. The band’s two main songwriters are Alex and Hannah Elton-Wall who also provide guitars on the album as well as lead and some stunning and warm harmony vocals. And for anyone who is a sucker for female vocals in a country/ roots rock/ folk setting then be prepared to fall in love. Without wishing to take anything away from the raspy, unique vocals of her husband Alex, Hannah really does have a stunning singing voice. If Hannah didn’t sing on this album more would be made of her partner’s vocals and also of the pedal steel guitar playing from David Rothon which is featured heavily throughout the album and even the tight rhythm section of Rain on bass and Jamie Langham on drums (and it shows that these guys have been playing live for a while; a band doesn’t play like this after a few months together, these guys are hot!) but Hannah’s vocals really do steal the show. Hannah’s voice is the first thing we hear when the first track, ‘Music’s On’, starts playing. Her plaintive vocals over just her strummed acoustic guitar (Hannah also penned this song; no end to her talents it seems) catch the attention from the very first line, the title of the album no less, before the excellent pedal steel from David, electric guitar from Alex and the rhythm section kick in. Listen to the way Hannah’s pure vocals blend with Alex’s whisky soaked contribution on the chorus and be prepared to play the song over and over. With that pedal steel weeping away throughout the song this tale of a relationship falling apart is an excellent taster for what is to follow. Alex is also going to attract attention with his vocals; as early as the second track, ‘Temptation’, also a showcase for his guitar playing, capturing middle era Stones perfectly, it’s obvious that this band enjoys the best of both worlds in having accomplished male and female singers. The song is a good, rocking song sounding like a cross between the Faces and Whiskeytown. There’s a stronger edge to Hannah’s vocals on the following song, ‘Losing You’; when she harmonises it sounds like all your favourite country/pop/folk singers rolled into one glorious voice. There’s even a duet by Hannah and Alex on the self composed ‘Make Tonight Last’, a break up song which updates those classics by Nancy and Lee and Tammy and George, it’s country through and through and a highlight on the album. A short while after the last song on the album, a gorgeous heart wrenching ballad by Hannah called ‘The Same Sky’ backed by just piano and a lone accordion which shows another side to her talents, is an unlisted ‘bonus’ song (possible title ‘Not Country Enough’?) which shows a humorous side to the band in the lyrics and which really is too good to be hidden away like this. This album has it all, excellent production by Brian O’Shaughnessy (Beth Orton, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream) with (and maybe more tellingly) Alan Tyler once of sadly missed Rockinbirds, and songs which suit all moods. Want to wallow in self pity and pine over lost loves and missed chances? Then try Hannah’s ‘Music’s On’, the group composition ‘Losing You’, or any, in fact, of the solo penned songs by Hannah on the album. Feel like listening to some gutsy, rootsy rock? ‘Temptation’ and ‘This One’s For The Heartache’ fit the bill. And ‘Doin’ It For The Country’ (“I’m doing it for the country, I’m doing it for G.P., I’m doing it for Neil Young and Crazy Horse ‘cos God knows they do it for me”) and the aforementioned duet ‘Make Tonight Last’ cover the country rock base perfectly. This is an outstanding debut, every song is superb; now catch up with them live.

Track Listing:-
1 Music's On
2 Temptation
3 Losing You
4 Goodbye Love
5 This One's For The Heartache
6 Get On The Train
7 Devil In My Head
8 Cold and Blue
9 Doin' It For The Country
10 If You're Down
11 Pony Song
12 Make Tonight Last
13 The Same Sky

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