Finally, the long-awaited, much-anticipated debut album, Infinite Pleasure, from Newcastle rockers The Pale White is here. The trio (made up of Adam and Jack Hope and Tom Booth) had a meteoric rise through the ranks after releasing their 2018 EP Take Me To Strange– making Indie Central Music’s “Ones To Watch” list in 2019. Even before that, the band was garnering attention from top publications, like NME and BBC, while drawing comparison to Queens of the Stone Age. All of which made their debut album a bit of a letdown, as the album doesn’t show any real growth and, at times, feels flat.
The record begins with the title track, immediately giving listeners a taste of dense, emphatic drumming. Coupling this with trademark infectious riffs and heavy bass lines, the track seems like it is setting the tone for a brilliant rock album.
The singles from the album are also a show of force. Glue starts with a hefty guitar riff, after which a steady drumbeat leads listeners through the standout track. Take Your Time‘s bass riff is catchy, That Dress has a great metal influence in it, Medicine opens with the sound of a rattling pill bottle followed by a great vocal performance, and Confession Box is a much-needed change of pace, with a grungy opening.
The problem is it doesn’t go anywhere from there. Every song, including the enjoyable singles, follow the same pattern that really starts to weigh on the listener. It’s a sound that starts as flavourful but ends up being tasteless.
The lyrics of this album also tended to fall flat, some even border on the line of cringy or, even, lazy. Like, “When life gives you limes/ Lemonade is something to die for,” as lead singer Adam Hope sings in Glue. Or the awkward arrangement of, “You show me the door when I need more/ Now I get less,” in That Dress. They feel out of place and painfully obvious.
But for as glaring as the problems are, The Pale White still delivers great stadium, radio rock music. Any one song on this album would be perfect at a festival or party, it’s just Infinite Pleasure as a whole can be a taxing listen and feel like a chore towards the end.