Athens, GA’s Palace Doctor are a new band (only about a year old), but its members have been on the scene for quite some time. Frontman/guitarist Phillip Brantley comes from Athens long timers Modern Skirts, while drummer Jeremy Wheatley has spent time with Crooked Fingers and Eric Bachman. Bassist Nick Robbins hails from Velveteen Pink.
Their upcoming debut record, Mangled is firmly in the camp of modern Athens rock while still recalling ’90s Pavement-style indie rock, with everything from the sneaky melodicism of Nirvana in “Strayed” to outright heaviness in songs like “23s” and even brief flashes of that era’s brewing alt-country scene. If you’re into that sort of thing, Mangled is one blast of sonic recognition and adrenaline after another. As an album, Mangled isn’t foot-to-the floor from start to finish, but overall, it also doesn’t slow down for much. Producer Hank Sullivant (the Whigs, MGMT, Kuroma) nicely balances melodies and guitar crackle, giving things a clean, vibrant sound.
Here, “Welcome the End” introduces itself with a loud riff briefly reminiscent of the Troggs’ “Wild Thing” before going in its own direction full of crunch and hooks, while Brantley’s reverbed and hollowed-out vocals are buoyed by soaring, poppy “ooh’s” in the background vocals.
Mangled‘s 9/22 release on the Laser Brains label will be marked by two release shows:
Friday 9/22 at the Earl in Atlanta, GA
Saturday 9/23 at Little Kings in Athens, GA