The Golden Palominos


Drunk With Passion

The Golden Palominos - Drunk With Passion ©1991 Nation/Charisma
1. Alive And Living Now
2. The Haunting
3. When The Kingdom Calls
4. A Sigh
5. Thunder Cries
6. Hands Of Heaven
7. Dying From The Inside Out
8. Begin To Return

If my information is correct, The Golden Palominos are essentially a roving and ever-morphing project of Anton Fier, who assembles an interesting cast of characters for each studio album. This list includes such legends as R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Bob Mould and fellow musical explorer Bill Laswell. Regardless of the wide ranging cast of talent available, Drunk With Passion is a surprisingly stable and smooth album. On five of the tracks, the vocals are handled by Amanda Kramer, who has a very soft but enticing voice that floats very serenely above the expansive and open music. The songs all have a very desert feel, similar to Mazzy Star's style, but with more overall punch. "The Haunting" actually lives up to its title, but it is also quite warm and engaging. "Dying From the Inside Out" features the formidable talents of Bob Mould on guitar and vocals. The song could very well be an outtake from his excellent albums, Workbook or Black Sheets of Rain, and immediately gets a huge recommendation for fans of those albums. Drunk With Passion is a fine, moody yet inviting album that offers a great deal of talent and enjoyment.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1999

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This Is How It Feels

The Golden Palominos - This Is How It Feels ©1993 Restless
1. Sleepwalk
2. Prison Of The Rhythm
3. I'm Not Sorry
4. This Is How It Feels
5. To A Stranger
6. The Wonder
7. Breakdown
8. These Days
9. Rain Holds
10. Twist The Knife
11. Bird Flying
12. A Divine Kiss

With vocalist Lori Carson on board and revolving more primarily around Anton Fier and Bill Laswell, the Golden Palominos entered a phase of trip-hop, remarkably free from derivative and mindless connotation. The three found a unique formula that allowed for both a semi-danceable rhythm loop to breathe with smart instrumentation and vocals over top. Lori Carson uses her breathy voice on some of the tracks and speaks her way through the majority. Her plaintative voice on those tracks, especially "To a Stranger" and "Prison of the Rhythm", are compelling. This is How I Feel also benefits from a more fluid sound throughout since Carson, Laswell and Fier appear on every track. The Golden Palominos again do us the favor of taking on a familiar sound, running it through a creative blender and showing us how it sounds when done right. Memorable dance music. Now that's a twist!

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/1999

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Prison Of The Rhythm - The Remixes

The Golden Palominos - Prison Of The Rhythm - The Remixes ©1993 Restless
1. Original Version
2. Exuberance Is Beauty Mix
3. P.W.O.G.'s Dizzy Drift Mix
4. Adam Peters Mix
5. Purified Radio Edit/original Version

Prison of the Rhythm - The Remixes is one of those peripheral items sometimes associated with bands. A glorified single and perhaps a bonus prize for interested fans, remix EPs often offer nothing more than a shiny coaster and novelty interest. In the case of The Golden Palominos remix of "Prison of the Rhythm" from This is How It Feels, the remixed songs are a bit more interesting, considering the production talent behind the remixing process. But at the same time, it is hardly a required listening experience for anyone but perhaps the most ardent fan of the group. Naturally Bill Laswell's "Exuberence is Beauty mix" has a huge amount of his signature sound all over the place, particularly in the dub bass lines. Moreover, the ambient sound collage later on in the song is certainly interesting. "P.W.O.G.'s Dizzy Drift mix" is a lot more techno/dance infused while "Adam Peters mix" is just another angle at the same approach. So as a result you get a mildy interesting package that might be broken out for an occasional listen but certainly does not demand immediate purchase in your pursuit of the Golden Palominos.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2000

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Pure

The Golden Palominos - Pure ©1994 Restless
1. Little Suicides
2. Heaven
3. Anything
4. Wings
5. Pure
6. No Skin
7. Gun
8. Break In The Road
9. Touch You

Pure definitely stands out as one of the best and most consistent albums of the Golden Palominos' back catalogue. Sliding away from the more trip-hop rhythms of 1993's This Is How It Feels towards a bit more of the older expansive smooth rock of Drunk With Passion, Pure flows in expressive and heartfelt waves. Every track here is excellent and the album on a whole has that ability to transport the listener to a very serene state of bliss.

The main point of interest in the album is Lori Carson's very sensual and moving vocals, shared occasionally with Lydia Kavanaugh. Whether she is whispering in a hushed voice as on "Heaven" or sounding as though her heart is breaking as on "Little Suicides", her vocals really propel this album to greater heights. The music throughout suits every mood her vocals project. There is a sense of dub, echoing guitar chords and a feeling that the group was in creative sync throughout. "Wings" has a very throbbing bassline that helps the pulse of the song. Each song here has something special to make it a joy to hear. This is the sort of album that immediately wraps itself around your heart and becomes a constant presence on your stereo.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2000

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Dead Inside

The Golden Palominos - Dead Inside ©1996 Restless
1. Victim
2. Belfast
3. Ride
4. The Ambitions Are
5. Drown
6. Holy
7. You Are Never Ready
8. Metal Eye
9. Thirst
10. Curses

Possibly the most bizarre and surreal Golden Palominos record of them all, this strange journey narrated by Nicole Blackman is truly an adventure into a darker side of reality that you may never thought existed before. Simply on the merit of Blackman's texts, Dead Inside is a winner. Palomino leader Anton Fier does, to his credit, create a musical base that is inventive and compelling, but it is her words and narration that makes this work. The opening track "Victim" is currently one of the most chilling things I've ever heard. The narrative is taken from the perspective of a kidnapped woman facing the last hours of her life, when she knows the situation is hopeless. Blackman said in an interview that it was almost as if a ghost told her this story and I'm almost ready to agree as the detail is truly vivid. Regardless of inspiration, this track alone is going to chill your bones. Another powerful narrative is "The Ambitions Are", which is sci-fi meets street horror, perhaps in the vein of Blade Runner. The despair and true hopelessness conveyed in the text again is suberb. The final truly striking song is "Holy", the tale of a woman starving herself for artistic purity. The perspective displayed on this song is unique and visionary. Throughout this album, it is Blackman's words that truly grip the listener. Fier does a fine job in his role but even he must take a backseat here. It's not often an album can grip me more than a good book, but Dead Inside lives up to that. Easily the best Golden Palominos record I've heard.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/1999

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