pablo alto – Fever self-released; 2017 3.6 out of 5
Pablo Alto is John Rose (guitar/vocals), Steve Crews (bass/vocals) and Dave Savagar (drums/vocals). The three-piece band plays garage rock in the spirit of staples like The Stooges and modern day rockers like Ty Segall. They play into all the tropes and criteria for the genre – no more, no less. Imagine CBGB’s in the ’80s and the punk rock bands that would play there.
The production on their EP Fever is spot on except for one perplexing issue. The second song “Tension” is about 5 – 7 dbs softer and sounds no where close to or as good as the other songs from a production perspective. I’m not sure why and the band could have at least raised the volume with a stock limiter that comes in almost every DAW.
The band opens with “Fever” which in typical punk/garage rock fashion is a short song at two minutes. I liked it and it has good energy, a fun chorus and is sloppy and raw enough to work. “Troubled Mind” is practically identical in energy and delivery but then again that kind of schtick was typical of bands in this genre. The chorus is slightly different but the things that matter like crunchy power chords and energetic drumming are there.
“Fall” is the most ambitious song and arguably the highlight. It’s a little more psychedelic sounding and has a number of builds which leads to frantic drumming and white noise. The band rocks out for the second half of the song in a Comets on Fire type of way.
I like this band. I also want to see them push their abilities on their next effort and see where the music can go. They have the potential of a band like No Age which took garage rock and fused it with original artistic exploration. The other choice is to be purists but do it in such a distinct way that sticks out from the countless bands barking up the same trees.
Overall, the band builds a solid foundation and I think they have the potential to take it to the next level.
By Jamie Funk
Pablo Alto are great with Hendrix-esque guitar pieces. I would see them again. The set is colourful and enthralls you into a psychedelic euphoria of guitar blazing. I’m feeling it, head swaying side to side and yes the arms just flapping around wildly and so not as chic as I imagine but I don’t care because I’m here to let loose….
Words by Catherine Vaughan on Artsy Jolie Girl Blog 25 March 2016
Omar Majeed Tells All About The Underground Revolution Gig @ The Booth Hall; Space Cats, Human Pyramids and Sober Moshing.
Review by Omar Majeed – Onlooker at The Underground Revolution, Bohemian Artiste Extraordinaire, Film Maker and Creator of Gravity Zine
Hereford City Centric put on quite a night last night by means of their their music promotion entity The Underground Revolution. The Booth Hall is steadily becoming a key venue for seeing live alternative music. There was some concern around rumours that Dave Savager, the drummer from arty Ledbury post-punk/psyche band Pablo Alto was in the grip of a fortnight long fever and wouldn’t be playing, but the three of them took to the stage and performed a set of melodious and atmospheric music led by John Rose’s spacey effects-laden guitar, and supported by Tessa Frith’s reliable bass backing.
Dave clearly had his strength back as he nimbly banged the drums. As a three-piece band they seem to have enlisted a couple of invisible members; the sound is more than the sum of their parts and they really meld to make a delicious and intoxicating sonic soup. Joy Division are clearly a big influence; the cover of Insight was at once faithful, but somehow less alienating than the original, focusing more on the otherworldliness.
The influence extended into some of their original material, particularly ‘Space Cats’, which got a whoop from the crowd for the title alone. But the psychedelic influences are equally important in the mix.
A HUNDRED SUNS
“At some point something I’d never seen before happened: a human pyramid formed on the dance floor”
A Hundred Suns are not a band for wallflowers. On the way to the gig my friend asked me if the music in the car was Belle and Sebastian, and I have a tendency to enjoy things you can stand back and get lost in rather than mosh to. They describe their sound as either Hard Rock or Heavy Rock, and I don’t know enough about these genres to really distinguish the difference, but it involves grinding riffs, catchy melodies and impassioned singing.
Even while inhibited they were clearly a band that knew what they were doing; the charismatically performed and adept vocal stylings of frontwoman Claire Perkins were supported effortlessly by Richard Gardner on guitar, Stephen Bennet on drums and James Whitehurst on bass. The song ‘Bread’ stood out as reminiscent of something off Crass’ Penis Envy.
These guys really know their instruments and as the loud set progressed, Richard let out some impressive shredding. I was talking to Dave from Pablo Alto about the downside of not drinking when listening to this kind of music. There was a crowd of people head-banging at the front and having a whale of a time. He said we didn’t need to drink to be disinhibited, and we went and joined in the mosh pit.
Once you let go you can really appreciate the band’s energy and dynamism. At some point something I’d never seen before happened: a human pyramid formed on the dance floor.
Watch a clip of A Hundred Suns Performance from the night on Facebook courtesy of the Booth Hall HERE
Teddy’s Leg took the headline slot, and played unrelenting bursts of brattish hardcore to energizing effect. Robin Scott-Wilson led the band of angry merry men with his shoes off, wailing confidently alongside thrashed chords, and simple but catchy and effective riffs that got people moving and acted as a conduit for their at times political message.
Someone let out an amiable heckle of “why are the gaps longer than the songs”, and it amused me for such abrasive and aggressive music that when talking to each other onstage they were unexpectedly polite. Nice guys get angry too it seems. It was a great set, and if my appraisal is a little short it’s because I was having too much fun dancing with someone I hadn’t seen for a long time to formulate sound-bytes for the write up later.
That I was carried away in this music should be more recommendation than any flurry of enthusiastic adjectives that describe and try and define this chaotic and brilliant music. When the gig ended we sat outside with the energy and thrill of the evening still buoying us up, and a conversation began about what a “frozen teddy’s leg” is. It’s best not to ask.
Featured Image by Nick Vidal-Hall; House Photographer for The Booth Hall
The Youth Within / Billy Whizz / Pablo Alto, Ledbury British Legion 28/11/15
The first of the bands to grace the stage were the atmospheric Pablo Alto. With strong guitar leads and a foot-tapping beat to boot, these guys went down a storm. As soon as they began, they were mirroring a New Wave, Psych Rock sound with an underbelly of the garage scene. Dancers sprung from their bottoms to appreciate the resonating notes as the power of the vocals and melodies took over the hall. Their set wasn’t long enough – we want more next time!
Sounds like: This cocktail: a bell bottom glass, the spirits of Echo and The Bunny Men and The Cure, topped with Joy Division, a sprinkle of Billy Bragg, with a straw of Jesus and the Mary Chain.
Review from SLAP magazine 2014
Pablo Alto – I should immediately qualify this review by letting on that John Rose, who records under the Pablo Alto moniker, is a fellow member of Echo Road and that I have co-written two of the songs on this set. That said, this works brilliantly. This is John on his own, recorded at home, and he emits all the sounds heard here. This is the first time I have included a CD by a friend and I do so on the basis that I consider it on a par with so-called official releases. The songs are all originals and feature wonderful washes of guitar-laden ‘indie’ testifying. (Should that be ‘testification’, or maybe ‘testiculation’?).
Review By Nick Alexander, Poxymoron 2013ric