This is a review of "Wades into Water" recorded by Palo Alto. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2003.
Palo Alto is a city in west California known for its electronics industry. It has got together as a huge band of 55,000 members, elected Elaine as their lead singer, signed to Valentine Records and produced "Wades into Water" its second release on said label.
After giving this 3 song release a thoroughly good listen my jury is still out on the subject of PA. On the whole this enticing stuff from the Mancunian (not Californian) outfit, sweeping sound scapes of guitars and super sweet girly vocals. As the biog says there are some elements of My Bloody Valentine but none of "early Verve". It's a pleasant sounding confusing mixture of dated production and guitar sounds crossed with underpinning modern influences. Elaine's reverbtastic vocals, although deliberate, feel too far back in the mix and some layered harmonies and textures would surely push these songs out to the listener, rather than making them hunt for it under dominating flange, phaser or wah-wah guitar.
Of the songs themselves, title track "Wades into Water" is good but a couple of weaker (deliberately abstract?) vocal parts fail to sit well with the rest of the song. "Catalan" with its spoken word underlay is pleasingly at times reminiscent of the likes of Mogwai."Do something" is pretty but leaves far less of an impression.
The best is clearly yet to come from PA and this may well be an investment purchase for the future.