Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Palace Brothers - There Is No-One What Will Take Care Of You

This debut, released in 1993, was where it all started for Will Oldham.  It opens with its shortest and most jarring song Idle Hands Are The Devil's Plaything, featuring a very ropey vocal from Oldham over a spritely banjo and seemingly random percussion.  Though it's preferable to the six minute dirge that follows, Long Before.  I Tried To Stay Healthy For You sounds very close to the melody for Auld Lang Syne and sounds kind of bizarre.  The guitar and banjo The Cellar Song is a distinct improvement before the strange strum of (I Was Drunk at The) Pulpit.

The title track sounds more like a real band effort, but O Lord Are You In Need is the one song here which indicates where Oldham was planning to go in his Bonnie 'Prince' Billy persona, it's more relaxed and 'crafted' than anything else here.  Merida is a kind folky, backwoods blues and is one of the stronger tracks here, along with the slow, creepy Riding.  So, although there are some good, if a little basic songs here, it's not the ideal introduction to Will Oldham.