Photo Credit: Gerard Rouw
In the first few seconds of Dutch alt-rockers Paceshifters’ newest LP - Waiting To Derail, an energetic drum fill kicks opening track ‘Dead Eyes’ into gear, an underpinning screech of feedback serving to give it some edge. Punk, the listener thinks. Or, if not pop punk at the very least, and then: moody, sluggish guitars, and a tell-tale sulky tone to match; a trademark of the early 90s pioneers – yes, this is grunge. Though nothing new, and nothing daring enough to strike an unlit match, Paceshifters can more than hold their own out here in the blaze of the revival – in fact, at moments, Waiting to Derail is an exciting peek into the future of a very promising young band.
Where venomous screams meet wailing riffs on ‘Exhausted’, almost droning but never boring, it writhes like a maggot of misery in the palm of every listener’s hand – imagery reminiscent of that conjured by so many of the greats before them. If Paceshifters have their eyes on a slice of their inspirators’ successes, however, there’s some work to be done to achieve a greater level of lyrical prowess on some tracks.
Where Waiting to Derail falters, it errs on the side of being repetitive; ‘My Getaway’, though catchy, feels like a roundabout of a song. But where the record shines, it truly glistens: the apex of the album is undeniably ‘Yearning Desire’, building to an arresting depository of almost post-hardcore internalised pain and rage. It’s this song more than any other that you itch to hear live, in a loud, sweaty venue where it can bloom to its full potential.
Paceshifters, if wishing to join the leagues of the big names in rock, have a way to go to in carving out their own sound to stick out from the masses. However, Waiting To Derail showcases the trio’s raw talent and creative ability in eleven tracks rich with emotion and dripping with riffola, eluding to the possibility that Paceshifters is a name we’ll be seeing more of in the not-too-distant future.