VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Palace Watson – The Smell | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It comes as little surprise that The Smell, the debut single from Hartlepool/Middlesbrough newcomers Palace Watson, is an explosive banger of a track, given the trio’s past musical endeavours. Bassist Will Rayment was formerly the front man of local progressive hardcore favourites Future Horizons, while vocalist/guitarist Daniel Wilmslow Huddlestone and drummer Liam Richardson were part of blistering ‘math-mosh’ four-piece Rosa Valle, who released their 2011 debut EP via Big Scary Monsters/Holy Roar (arguably the two best heavy music labels in the UK).

Clocking in at just over two minutes, The Smell is an urgent, hooky slice of post-hardcore complete with relentless drums and morose lyrics. It’s incredibly accomplished for a debut, bringing to mind the polished emo punk of the likes of letlive. or Pierce the Veil, but with the frenetic energy of At the Drive In.  In fact, it’s rare that you can immediately imagine a debut single blasted out on an alt-festival stage, but Palace Watson have nailed it. Along with The Smell, the trio have released B-side In the Basement; a haunting piano waltz that wouldn’t feel out of place on one of Brand New’s later albums. 
“We’ve all known each other for years from being in previous bands. We got together in February to work on some songs and record and have been making plans since,” explains Huddlestone. “We make emo rock songs but we experiment a lot with synthesisers and instruments outside of the rock band format. I think as much as our music is angsty and energetic, there’s a strong pop sensibility to it. I don’t think you have to enjoy listening to rock bands to find something enjoyable in our music.

“Though we’re a three-piece, we use a lot of loops and triggers in our live set to recreate the more ambitious studio production. We put a lot of energy into our live performance, and we like to work with a bigger picture in mind. The Smell is a piece of a larger scope of releases all following a similar theme with a narrative spanning the artworks.”

Check out the spooky lyric video for The Smell below. The Smell/In the Basement can also be streamed via Spotify.


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