The Bots' new album 'Pink Palms' review Northern Transmissions, their album comes out on October 14

The Bots

  Pink Palms

Artist:  The Bots

Record Label: Fader
Rating: 7.0/10

When you consider The Bots are fresh faced young scamps, it makes the title of their debut LP, ‘Pink Palms’ sound like an activity adolescent dudes get up to when their parents aren’t home and the child lock has been lifted from the internet. The Californian duo are made up of Anaiah and Mikaiah Lei – handling drums and vocals/guitar respectively. ‘Pink Palms’ fizzes with a youthful exuberance but instead of being a quick shuffle through garage-punk’s short fused nuggets, the pair’s first offering contains a proportion of restraint beyond their years – Mikaiah is clocking in at 22 while Anaiah is a mere 18.

Pink Palms’ kicks off in a rapid state with ‘Ubiquitous’ fusing ‘It’s Getting Boring By The Sea’ by Blood Red Shoes merged with the shards of Arctic Monkey’s ‘A Certain Romance’. The track is all rampant guitar strikes and vibrant drum licks. Following ditties, ‘Blinded’ and ‘Won’ follow suit with the latter pivoting on a loud/quiet dynamic. The former is bestowed with a bounding strut akin to The Bots Powerbocking on some Kangaroo Legs!

The brothers Lei’s debut effort isn’t vacant when it comes to short, sharp bursts of scratchy guitar/drum combos but there are moments of poise and space that aren’t normally attributed to bands like The Bots. ‘Wet Blanket’ finds the twosome sliding into a static soundscape with Mikaiah’s vocal taking on a Morrissey style vibe. ‘Bad Friends’ contains further nods towards The Smiths, all down to trembling clouds of melancholy which are then dispersed by fuzzy blasts that comes from the Weezer rule book of nerdy pop punk. There’s even room for a bout of spoken word ramblings on ‘All I Really Want’. On this tense, tangent-like track, you feel like you’ve tapped into The Bots’ inner-psyche, that conveys the thoughts of being young, bored and frustrated in time of instant gratification out on the Insta-Twitter-Facebook-Vine ether – “I feel like life has lied to me” and “Sitting in my room doing the same thing I do everyday/make a cup of tea/sit down/stare at the screen till I see something that relates to me but it’s all so boring” typify youthful preoccupations.

A whole bunch of musical luminaries played their part in bringing ‘Pink Palms’ to life; Damon Albarn, Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Michael Patterson (NIN, The Notorious B.I.G) and Emily Lazar (Haim, Arcade Fire and Foo Fighters) all have their DNA spread around The Bots’ debut LP. It would seem Mikaiah and Anaiah are finding themselves inspirational company and ‘Pink Palms’ is the first step in paving their way to a bright future – connotations towards self-love aside of course…

Word and Thoughts of Adam Williams

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