Already a fan favorite for their sharp aesthetic and gritty sheen, Royal Palace bring a measured and matured output on Fever dreamtheir lively and viscous fourth studio album.
AFTER: PARKWAY DRIVE: “It’s about encapsulating the beauty that lies there, through the darkness” // DUNE RATS: Dance lessons and thinking outside the box COMMENTS: I TAKE IT: true power // PARKWAY WALK: even darker // STARCRAWLER: She says // GET OFF THE TRAILS: Euthanasia // SLEEP WITH THE MERMAID: Complete collapse // blink-182: BORDER
Amid the band’s forced time away from the stages and unexpected isolation during the pandemic, the end result of Fever dream is resolutely upbeat without losing the boldly edgy aesthetic for which the band has become revered. And amid the usual art-punk and scathing swagger are moments of British pop and genuine restraint that drop the brothers behind the Palaye Royale moniker, Remington Leith, Sebastian Danzig and Emerson Barrettebeyond being a niche, a maximalist indulgence into irresistible icons in their own right.
Opening with an acoustic stairway to Heaven-an intro, Fever dream dives into Eternal lifea winding anthem filled with electronic beats and understated production, closely followed by the bouncing pop rumble of No love in LA and the imposing melodies of punching bag. Next, Broken features an emotive yet dynamic stadium-ready vibe, while Fever dreamThe true soul of is revealed on its uplifting title track. A vaudevillian, My Chemical Romance-an ode, Fever dream flexes Leith’s rasp and the band’s oozing craftsmanship, proving an unmissable highlight on the album as Leith sings “We Can Be Anything and Everything” amid fiery guitar solos, crushing choruses and an acoustic outro of devastating beauty.
Fever dream is that Palaye Royale no longer rebels without a cause, but rather refines its ambition in terms of style and substance in equal measure.
Elsewhere on Fever dream hides the creamy charm of British pop (line it up featuring the raspy voice of LP), modern percolations (Toxic in you), retro alternative rock (wasted grief), creamy hymns (Paranoid), ambient and stripped-down beauty (Oversight) and Palaye Royale return to their more layered sound found on the previous album The bastards on The King of the Damned. And just in case you want more of a ride mixed in with an Alice in Wonderland lore, closing track Away with the head stomps along with moments of syncopated vocals and early 2000s alt-rock energy before the album’s outro fades to an affable, upbeat note, as Leith repeats at the start of the outro: Sooner or later we’re all going to disappear / But not today”. It’s a theatrical but understated rapprochement, and certainly a stark departure from the more maudlin approximation found on their previous feature.
While undeniably tied to raucous ambition and “Sin Rock” undertones, the band has been carefully curating for over a decade, Fever dream ends up throwing out the darker elements of their old versions and finds Palaye Royale still able to convey a languid punk growl but with much more authentic results. Fever dream is that Palaye Royale no longer rebels without a cause, but rather refines its ambition in terms of style and substance in equal measure.
EXCEPTIONAL TRACKS: Eternal life, Fever dream,
PASTE THIS NEARBY: My Chemical Romance, Yungblud, The Struts