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The Gilded Palace of Sin – You break our hearts, we’ll tear yours out (Central Control)

10 January 2010

Love TOM WAITS, NICK CAVE and JIM WHITE? Then THE GILDED PALACE OF SIN is your new favorite band. Normally I don’t like to rely this heavily on comparisons to other artists when describing an act, and, indeed, throwing those names together is more simplistic than the GPoS deserves. But the British trio’s combination of dissolute storytelling, clattering junk shop arrangements, strong melodies and bowed-but-not-broken romanticism will strike an immediate chord with fans of the above, and if that’s enough to pull them into the Sinners’ sepia-toned world, so be it. Singer PETE PHYTHIAN is a tale-spinner supreme, and the backup from multi-instrumentalists MICHELLE LOCK and VINI TAYLOR gives him the perfect settings for his messages. Check “Bones of the Saints,” “Mean Old Jack” and “There is no evil, there is no good” for examples of superlative, traditionalist songwriting given a fresh coat of watercolor by imaginative musicians with a mission. You break our heart, we’ll tear yours out (possibly the greatest album title ever, by the way) is as fully realized and satisfying a debut album as I’ve heard in years.