A very interesting album “Made In Germany” somewhere between classic and indie rock: on 12th November 2021, Palila released their debut album Rock ‘n’ Roll Sadness. I received the twelve track from a promotion agency and definitely felt it is a good listen. Here is my review.
Palila – About The Artist
Palila is a Hamburg-based band, which are active since April 2019. The idea of the band has been by singer and guitarist Matthias Schwettmann. The other members of the quartet are Christoph Kirchner (bass), Jonas Czok (drums) and Steffen Ruge (mix). So far, the band has released two EPs, the debut Are We Happy Now? (2019) and the May 2020 one, Tomorrow, I’ll Come Visit You and Return Your Records.
Palila – Rock ‘n’ Roll Sadness – Track by Track
The twelve track album lasts 42 minutes.
1. NY Family Plans
NY Family Plans is my first contact with Palila’s music. Good news: it feels comfortable: a straight rock track, good melody – and Schwettmann’s voice is simply having a great recall value. Does not really sound like a German production, but that’s not necessarily a negative thing. Good one.
2. Swim or Drown
Will we swim or will we drown – that’s the question the band is asking at the end of the chorus here. The song has a bit more power, harder riffs and more present bass groove. Just a good rock song with an indie flavor. No reason to be afraid – neither in the water nor in the world of music.
3. Brother Sister
I am so tired, fuck, too tired For standing upright And I’ve wondering far too long What’s to come
Brother, SIster takes back the energy of the first two songs a bit and creates a very thoughtful and deeper sound. This almost leads to a touch of a folk rocker – and you also simply have to listen to this one. Really catching production.
Nemesis is one of two songs released before the album. The song is a perfect, hand-made rocker. Great to be presented on stage. Nice focus on the instrumental parts as well – at the beginning of the song rather on some bored-feeling chords and a bit of harder riffs towards the end of the song.
Sapphire is driven by powerful guitar play and thus feels very much like a modern indie rock track. Again, the characteristic, clear vocals, which also give some chance to sing-along with Palila, are simply catching. Finally, Sapphire is simply a nice listen, leaving a smile on your face.
6. Take Turns
The electronic guitar partially almost taking the role of an acoustic guitar, the tambourine is even adding a touch of the handmade-intimate pub or campfire atmosphere. This all turns the song into a very emotional highlight of Rock’n’Rock Sadness.
Slow, fast – or mid-tempo like here at Rough: the Hamburg guys simply deliver good listens with catching elements. Nice focus on the guitar in this song again.
8. Rain Again
Let’s play outside Just for a while Pretty soon, it starts to rain again.
Yeah, the Hamburg weather can sometimes be just like the British one – but this short, almost pop-ish chorus works very well and stays in your mind.
9. One Soul
One Soul is not only the shortest song on the album (2:19 minutes), but also the most quiet one. The very reduced atmosphere of the song almost makes it feel like a lullaby.
10. Rock’n’Roll Sadness
Here is the title track. Definitely one of the most fluent, catching songs of the album. A nice musical business card for an emerging band.
11. Easy on the Drinks
The album closes with its two longest tracks. Easy on the Drinks is thereby a nice chord-strummer. Nothing too special, but not too bad at all.
Hitchhiker closes the album. A rather slow song, which stays in your mind. Nice way to say good-bye from the Rock’n’Roll Sadness, especially as it is adding a very different style of song to the portfolio of tracks in here.
Palila – Rock ‘n’ Roll Sadness – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Palila – Rock ‘n’ Roll Sadness – My View
Rock’n’Roll is a really good debut album, which already show some very different sounds of the band. Palila are not yet on the top of musical quality, but definitely a band which is creating really enjoyable sounds. Like it!