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Gilded Palace of Sin - You Break Our Heart, We'll Tear Yours Out

  by Jon Rogers

published: 11 / 12 / 2009

Gilded Palace of Sin - You Break Our Heart, We'll Tear Yours Out
Label: Central Control
Format: CD


Compelling debut album from evocative Nick Cave-influenced Manchester-based band, the Gilded Palace of Sin

With a name like that you’d be forgiven for thinking that the band were in awe of the late country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons. But the Manchester-based trio have little in common with the likes of the Flying Burrito Brothers, sharing common ground with the likes of Friends of Dean Martinez and Nick Cave. And spaghetti Westerns as if directed by David Lynch. ‘You Break Our Hearts, We’ll Tear Yours Out’ draws heavily on its cinematic quality, conjuring up images of dusty, windswept highways, arid deserts and the vast panorama of the American landscape, which is all summed up neatly in the opening, largely instrumental, ‘For Whom We Forget’. Things do though quickly get a little more exciting than that though. The single ‘Rosa Salvaje’ is all hillbilly banjo backed by feedback. ‘Mean Old Jack’ is packed full of Lynchian simmering menace and suspense, and Pete Phythian sings his moral tale like some freakshow barker from a Tom Waits tale. And drummer Michelle Lock bashes out some Maureen Tucker-esque rhythm. This all builds to ‘There is No Evil, There is No Good’, possibly the highlight of the album. The song simmers along on a low heat for most of the time but builds its tension and sees the trio come on like some preacher sermonising on the Old Testament. And it sounds like Nick Cave after devouring the entire works of Nietzsche. And like the themes of an early solo Nick Cave, the Gilded Palace of Sin seem to have Biblical, in particular Old Testament, concerns of hellfire and damnation, redemption and vengeance. Most of the songs on ‘You Break Our Hearts...’ invariably relate a morality tale of one sort or another and metering out an ‘eye for an eye’ justice. ‘Vony and the Plynths’ makes this explicit with the band playing with Messianic, starry-eyed fashion. Admittedly then the rest of the album tends to lose its way and lose focus, particularly on ‘Wedding Rice’ which successfully manages to go nowhere. At times Phythian is the spitting image, vocally, of The National’s Matt Berninger. But, largely, ‘You Break Our Hearts...’ is captivating and packed with interest. The band might not quite be a palace just yet, but they’re certainly gilded.

Track Listing:-
1 For When We Forget
2 Rosa Salvaje
3 Mean Old Jack
4 Rubbing Up
5 There Is No Evil, There Is No Good
6 Vony & The Plynths
7 Bones Of The Saints
8 Wedding Rice
9 Nautilus
10 Home Because You're Here

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