Glasgow’s Sweaty Palms drop ‘Love Me / Pretty Poor’ on Black Sheep Records, and run-of-the-mill garage rock this ain’t.
The punchy verse on ‘Love Me’ blends the staccato guitar of Iggy’s ‘Passenger’ with the ghoulish camp of The Cramps; so far, so promising.
Then the chorus arrives like a mighty wave against the hull of our sonic ghost ship, all nauseous reverb and sneering disdain.
Vocalist Robbie Houston delivers the hook in an atonal drawl worthy of a precocious Nick Cave.
When Houston sings “love me”, he isn’t begging for your adoration – he’s goading you to smack him in the face.
It’s a drunken sing-along on the Styx river rowboat, and if Sweaty Palms are to be our companions in the afterlife, we certainly won’t be bored.
‘Pretty Poor’ provides a nice contrast for the listener – where ‘Love Me’ was tightly structured, this second track is loose and meandering.
It’s evocative stuff, nonetheless: in my mind’s eye, I can see skeletons high-kicking in some demonic cabaret.
All eyes should now be slapped squarely on Sweaty Palms in anticipation of their next move.
Just don’t look at them the wrong way – you might regret it.
Words: Graham Neil Gillespie