After a bright rise in popularity following their 2018 EP Take Me To Strange, Newcastle trio The Pale White had a lot to live up to with their long-awaited debut album Infinite Pleasure. Although great for any generic indie party, Infinite Pleasure never seems to fully come into its own.
The album makes a promising start, particularly the title track with its emphatic drumming, bass hooks that turn up the tension, and catchy vocal riffs. This is the song to open a show with and warm up the crowd, or to listen to while power walking to Tesco in big boots. 'Glue', despite a few awkwardly forced lyrics like "When life gives you limes / Lemonade is something to die for", has an anthemic chorus perfect for a festival. 'Take Your Time' feels summery and upbeat, easy listening without any of the grit of the opening two songs. The remaster of 2016 single 'That Dress' feels smoother and more sophisticated, losing the raw live-performance style edge, but gaining some polish, fuller riffs, and a fresh guitar breakdown in the bridge and outro.
After this point, the album seems to lose its way. With the mildly repetitive 'Nothing Lasts Forever', sadly echoing 'Anechoic Chamber Blues,' enjoyable but advertisement sounding 'Sonder', and unenergetic cultural-referencing acoustic ballad 'Frank Sinatra', the songs are generally entertaining but lack cohesion or uniqueness. The one exception to this is listener-favourite 'Medicine', which is head-bangingly good in a Twilight teenager kind of way and has the catchiest chorus of the album.
With critics pointing out similarities to Artic Monkeys, Nothing But Thieves, Queens of the Stone Age, and – more unfavourably – The Beach Boys and Oasis, the resulting album is more samey than ground-breaking. Although much of the album is forgettable, stand-out tracks like Medicine will undoubtedly be added to the typical indie party roster.