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The Pale, rock’s lighter side

Brian Foy | Thursday, February 12, 2004

Sometimes you have to wonder how a state like Washington can turn out great music. When people think of the great state of Washington, it may be easy to think of the rainy weather rather than the music. It has been more than a decade since the days when Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden ruled the airwaves and spread the grunge movement across the country, but the state can still produce music capable of starting the next trend in music. The case and point to this claim is the indie band The Pale, which hails from Bellingham, Wash. The Pale’s third album, Gravity Gets Things Done, is an ironic piece of pop/rock goodness. It is ironic, because, if The Pale were on a major label, these songs would be all over TRL and radio stations across the country; people would probably even end up hating the band because they would be played everywhere. However, The Pale is on the independent label SideCho records, so instead they are a great band most people have never had the opportunity to hear before.Their newest disc, Gravity Gets Things Done, contains catchy songs in the spirit of their pop/rock forefathers Weezer and The Cars. However, the disc is a bit more progressive than today’s pop hits because of the depth and attention to detail that The Pale pay to their sound. The Pale are led by Gabe Archer and his cousin Cameron Nicklaus, who have honed their craft enough over the years to create a layered effect with their guitars, but have also managed to create incredibly catchy melodies and choruses for their songs. The cousins later added Greg Swinehart and Lance Fisher to round out the full and eclectic sound that makes The Pale much more than the run-of-the-mill pop/rock band.Gravity Gets Things Done excels for a plethora of reasons, but the most obvious might be the lyrics and melodies of Archer. The honesty of his lyrics, like those in the title track “I am the one / who can solve all your problems / a savior with only you to save” allows the listener to connect on a much deeper level than most bands. Additionally, Archer mixes in catchy rhymes that flow off the tongue, such as: “All the while / with your big dumb smile / and not a hint of worry on your face” from “Big Dumb Smile.” Whether its heartfelt lyrics are catchy ones that rhyme, it is clear that Archer’s lyrics get things done. The greatest accomplishment of Gravity Gets Things Done is its listenability. The album is rare in this day and age, because you can listen to it all the way through without having to skip around the songs that aren’t up to par with the rest. The disc is multi-dimensional in that it is perfect to relax to, or you can be like Frank Ricard in Old School and have some dinner and pop it in like the Sisqo CD. Either way, Gravity Gets Things Done is sure to be music to your ears.

Contact Brian Foy at bfoy@nd.edu