Palodine: Garden of Deceit

[9 July 2008]

By Jason MacNeil

Having opened and shared the stage with Low and Willard Grant Conspiracy, you get an idea of where Palodine is on the musical spectrum. Led by singer Katrina Whitney, the band is a collage of Kathleen Edwards, Shelby Lynne and at times Sparklehorse as exemplified on “Redwinged Blackbird”. Whitney’s hushed and sometimes haunting vocals also sound like Patti Smith on the plodding but pleasing “Scar”. Nothing really stands out on the record, but everything seems to have its right location in the track list. “Sweet Mouth, Black Heart” is a rougher, cocksure number that has a darker, ominous hue a la P.J. Harvey. Perhaps the best of the bunch is “Sorrow Has Opened Our Eyes”, another number you could envision Whitney getting lost in, resembling a fuller, rounded-out track The Handsome Family might have a stab at. And it gets stronger with each listen and each song, whether it’s the alt.country eeriness fueling “A Dozen Stones” or the chilling “Ways to Drown”. The coda on the album, “Magdalene”, reminds you that Palodine should have an incredibly bright future with such dark, dreary songs. In a just world they would be giving Cowboy Junkies a run for their money.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/palodine-garden-of-deceit/