I discovered this band back in 2018 with their “Get Right With Your Maker” album. The Australian seemed poised to do great things in the Rock genre, then of course the momentum that any band had came to a screeching halt with the pandemic. Now they return with “Friends In Low Places” about five years after their last album.
“Friends In Low Places” isn’t quite as heavy or bombastic as their last album, but the writing is still there and they are probably going to find a wider base of fans in the process. They’ve moved slightly more towards a AAA format than Rock. It’s a small move towards the Adult Alternative, but I hear the shift.
Don’t get me wrong, they still have some great rockers like the title track, “Children Of The Evolution” and “Tear It Down”. But there’s more slower bluesy tracks like “Get Right With You Maker” and “Down On Your Luck”. They even dabble with a late 60’s sound on “Tell It Like It Is”.
At the end of the day they’re still a hard rockin’ band. Tim Henwood’s vocals are still dripping with soul and passion, but they have toned it down a notch or two. Part of it is in the production, but the songs aren’t generally as aggressive either. Ironically they’ve followed a similar progression of the Irish band THE ANSWER, who started off heavier, but have taken some of the edge off on their last release.
Even though I prefer their heavier side, I can’t say it’s a bad move for them. They seem to have improved their overall song-writing and lyrics. They’re most likely evolving as a band along with their fans. You tend to get more retrospective as you age and your priorities change. Personally that hasn’t happened to me, my tastes are getting heavier, but I’m aware that’s not the natural course of the music fan.
I’m always going to have great appreciation for this band as they’ve kept the traditional Classic Rock sound moving forward in the past decade or more. We need MORE bands like this who flat out love Rock N’ Roll and have the passion to keep the fire alive.
Palace Of The King Lineup:
Seany Johnston – Keyboards, Guitar
Leigh Maden – Guitar, Harmonica, Backing Vocals
Anthony Licciardi – Bass, Backing Vocals
Cameron McGlinchey – Drums
Tim Henwood – Lead Vocal, Guitar, Percussion