Pale Waves - 'Unwanted'

7/10

When Pale Waves first made their mark with their breakthrough debut album 'My Mind Makes Noises' in 2018, they were seen as a reinvention of the emo-inspired alt-rock of the early 2000s. Bringing raw and heartfelt lyricism to the forefront of their driven direction earned them a place as one of the more progressive bands on the scene, and established their legacy almost immediately. But with last year's sophomore collection 'Who Am I?' leaning towards a more commercial direction, they have now harked back to their formative sound on their third studio album 'Unwanted', a record that aims to rekindle that early spark.

While 'Who Am I?' was in no way a lacklustre return, its heavy stance towards glossy and over-produced pop-rock did feel like the beginning of a new dawn for Pale Waves. But just a few minutes into 'Unwanted', it is clear they are looking to bring back the more intense and anthemic side to their aesthetic. Recruiting renowned rock producer Zakk Cervini to add his own distinct flair to the release, they are truly wearing their influences on their sleeve throughout this new release, and deliver a ball-busting frenzy of killer riffs and stadium-ready belters that sees them yearning for the big festival stages.

Although it has a fun and explosive style to it, 'Unwanted' does sometimes have trouble finding something new and interesting to explore. Much of this LP can be traced back to career highlights of Simple Plan and Paramore, giving it a familiar feel but no much that continues the inventive nature of the band to date.

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