Sweaty Palms have managed a stonker of a debut.
Label: Nice Swan Records
Released: 15th June 2018
‘Quit Now’ is the first release from Glaswegian band Sweaty Palms, who claim to have met at a support group for cult survivors, which is how most bands form, we assume. Taken under the wing of Dale Barclay, former frontman of Glaswegian menace-purveyors The Amazing Snakeheads, they’ve broken out of Glasgow and have a few things to say about the state of the world (they aren’t very happy with it, in case you were interested).
A snarling 35-minute debut, ‘Quit Now’ establishes Sweaty Palms as one of the most exciting garage rock prospects around. Tracks like ‘Captain of The Rugby Team’ encapsulate what the band do best. It’s a twitchy, political, anxiety flecked banger which slowly falls apart until by the end Robbie Houston’s vocals have devolved into screams, the rest of the band marching on regardless.
Lead single ‘Transit Paul’ showcases the other extreme of the album, a much slower, more trudging take on the same paranoid vision. There are still cracks in the more measured foundations though, with discordant guitars and screams occasionally bubbling up before fading back below the surface.
There are some occasional missteps in the album, all the more noticeable because of the short runtime. ‘Queer Fatwa’ is the most obvious example, straying too far into chaos and losing coherence, sounding more sloppy than angry. This is even more of a shame as the track is placed front and centre as the first “proper” song on the album. The strength of the rest of the album means this isn’t exactly a deal breaker, but it does feel more like a B-side than an album lead.
This aside, Sweaty Palms have managed a stonker of a debut album, one which could just as easily soundtrack a dystopian nightmare as it could an alcohol-fuelled night in a sweaty pub basement. We’d definitely rather the second one though, dystopian nightmares aren’t nearly as much fun as gigs are. Jake Hawkes