|The Redlands Palomino Co.
"By The Time You Hear This... ...We'll Be Gone"
Laughing Outlaw Records
Before listening, there's looking at a CD and this one has a special lay-out that catches the eye. The frontcover shows the band in action, yes, but inventively made of paper, pieces of wood and cloth plus metal scraps for microphones and pedal steel: "By The Time You Hear This..." On the backcover the band has left the stage, the instruments are still laying around: "...We'll Be Gone". By the way, this long albumtitle starts to make sense once you hear the first line of the first song! An English alt.country band being embraced by the English music-press, playing the well-known English clubs as headliner or support-act, always makes the continent a bit suspicious. Are they worth the praise or is it another hype? Alex Elton-Wall and his wife Hannah sing, play guitars and do most of the songwriting. The pedal steel guitar plays a prominent part in all the songs, there's a rhythm-section of bass-guitar and drums plus a small selection of guesting musicians. I see to my pleasant surprise that the banjo is played by Pat McGarvey, Sid Griffin's loyal sidekick in The Coal Porters and other projects. The album is produced by Brian O'Shaughnessy, who also worked with Beth Orton and Primal Scream and by Alan Tyler. It makes a big difference if Alex or Hannah sings leadvocals, they recorded only one real duet, "Make Tonight Last". Alex has this raw, hoarse vocal and he rocks, while Hannah has a girlish voice which makes her songs more folky. It's almost like you're listening to two different bands sometimes! I appreciate those songs the most where Alex sings lead over acoustic guitars, like "Devil In My Head" and especially "If You're Down". The ode to Neil Young, "Doin' It For The Country" is cool too and Hannah seems to sing an answer in the bonustrack. Yes, I think The Redlands Palomino Co. is worth the praise!
by Johanna J. Bodde