Landing on our shelves thanks to Eternal Soundcheck before it gets a proper release in the US, Astute Palate’s self-titled tape is one of Zuma/On The Beach-era Neil Young-esque dug in rhythm, amp-valve burning exploratory guitar duelling, and sweat-drenched basement rock’n’roll.
The kind of thing that may be self-indulgent and boring in less capable hands or a throw-away side project—but this is anything but! Sits alongside recent highlights of whacked out groove and overdriven guitar heroics from Headroom, Mountain Movers, and Yuzo Iwata! -Mitch
“When discussing supergroups, I am sure we can all agree there are some that have exceeded all artistic expectations (Methods Of Mayhem, McBusted) and others that have been crushing disappointments (Winery Dogs, La Coka Nostra). Astute Palate fall squarely between the two (I respect you far too much to engage in hyperbole) but the results of this unique collaboration feel like a fully realized thing as just as much as any of the projects they’ve spearheaded previously (Writhing Squares, Storks, Watery Love, David Nance’s Rock’n’Roll Circus). If you’re anticipating some kind of hastily conceived, vague “jam” exercise in directionless fuckery, well, I take it back. You will be disappointed, bitterly. But if your attention span can handle genuine songcraft, incendiary guitar work and a band that sounds improbably fused together, Astute Plane’s debut will rank very high on your list of 2021’s best releases (and I’m not saying that simply because I anticipate the closing of all pressing plants, if not the end of all commercial activity by March 1 of next year). Predictions aside, I could not be a bigger fan of the 4 players involved and I am happy to say they have not let me down and that, without question, is the most important take-away from this exercise. The Nebraska and Pennsylvania state lines are roughly 900 miles apart, but with this album, Astute Palate have obliterated the notion of physical distance. I feel like I’m in the room with them when they’re making this. And as much as I wish the ventilation was better and there was somewhere for me to plug my phone in, there’s nowhere else on earth I’d rather be (within reason, I would like to go home eventually).” - Gerard Cosloy, noted big city roller & shipping dept manager at 12XU Records