Paloalto look to Fade In to the big time - quickly!

By Jack Foley

FRED Durst, of Limp Bizkit fame, has described them as 'a real band, with a real sound and real songs!' He adds: "Make no mistake, that this band has credibility and a definite career."

Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath noted that they have 'made the record Radiohead should have made', describing their debut album as the 'first brilliant American record of the millennium; a semblance of brilliance in a sea of shit'.

And Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Welland described them as 'a beautiful, lush, adventurous pop hybrid with something much needed in music today... passion'.

So who are they? Paloalto are comprised of James Grundler (vocals, guitar), Tommy Black (bass guitar), Andy Blunda (guitar, keyboards), and Florian Reinert (drums) and they have been compared with some of the leading bands of the past few years, including the likes of the Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead.

They have recently been seen in venues around the country, in support of former Stone Roses' guitarist, John Squire, and also created a storm at the NME's BRATs gig at London's Scala on February 4. Their debut single, Fade Out/In is released on Monday (Feb 10) and will be followed by their album, Heroes and Villains, on February 24. (Click here for single review).

The band's star first began to rise in 2000, when Grundler's distinctive vocal style and quality of song-writing found a favourable ear in producer, Rick Rubin. Impressed with their unfinished demo, he visited Paloalto's rehearsal studio and claims to have been stunned by what he heard.

Enchanted by their crystalline melodies and slightly cynical view of the world, Rubin quickly signed the group to American Recordings, noting: "James has a truly unique gift for melody and a tremendous voice to back it up. This is a lethal combination. Heroes and Villains really pounds the point home."

If the PR on the new album is anything to go by, Heroes and Villains should be a real treat when it is released. According to one source, the band forgoes popular themes of self-pity and revenge for tales of experience and introspection, putting their brains and baggage into the music to produce an album that reflects both good times and bad.

'The beautiful melodies, epic arrangements and soaring themes of Heroes and Villains reveal a band charting a fresh course through the waters of cash-only creativity and cookie-cutter demographics'.

Certainly, from listening to their debut single, Fade Out/In, some of what is being written about them rings true. The single itself is a suitably fiery debut, complete with the aforementioned guitar sound of the Smashing Pumpkins, while support tracks, Throwing Stones and Pick Yourself Off The Beach (both of which feautre on the long-player) are excellent examples of quality songwriting, backed by strong vocals.

Indielondon was, regrettably, unable to make the gig the band played at Shepherd's Bush Empire on February 7 (in support of John Squire), but certainly looks forward to catching up with them in the future. We would, however, recommend buying the single, as Paloalto could well be the name on everyone's lips come the end of 2003...

RELATED STORIES: Click here for a review of the debut single...