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Since 2016, Durham, England’s Pale Kids have carved out a place of their very own in the punk scene. While they may draw comparisons to Martha—the fact Pale Kids recorded an EP in Martha’s house cements it—but, across their assortment of splits and EPs, Pale Kids have built a space for their own voice. Since the beginning, the band’s been vocal champions of their queer identities, while wrapping their pop hooks in short, bombastic punk songs. With the release of Hesitater, a new three-song EP coming March 23 on Father/Daughter Records, the band takes another step forward, writing the strongest melodies of their short career, while still crafting lyrics that pack a meaningful punch.
Recorded by Neil Combstock at Rocking Horse Rehearsal Rooms in Durham City, Hesitater captures the band in their most natural state, playing live together cad capturing every drop of Pale Kids’ spirited energy. Kicking off with “St. Theresa,” the band attempts to make sense of being raised religious and what that means as you grow older. It’s a song about defining your beliefs on your own terms no matter what anyone else has to say.
While Hesitater is the latest offering from Pale Kids, it also features one of the band’s earliest songs in “Gloom.” The track is about fighting against the despair that filters into one’s daily life, using a bouncing backbeat as a means of shaking off the doldrums. Closing out Hesitater is “Samson,” which examines a past relationship with a softer, tempered outlook. It begs the question, can you make something work if you forgive and forget, or is such a thing even possible? Taken as a whole, Hesitater proves that Pale Kids are finding their own space in their scene, and creating whip-smart punk at a time when it’s needed most.
500 / Doublemint Green