Opening track on The Pale Pacfic’s (formerly The Pale) latest EP Rules Are Predictable could be the ‘Boys Of Summer’ for the dream-pop crowd. The bassline and overall groove are quite similar to said song but thankfully the band saves face by skillfully incorporating reverb, a sea of keys and a much-needed tempo shift halfway through. Otherwise Mr. Henley might have to change his views on copyright law and take up shack with every pirate’s most-hated archnemesis, Lars Ulrich. *Shiver* Now ironically segue into ‘Identity Theft’ where the band is quick to remind us ‘it’s not stealing if you’re skimming off the top’. Fair enough. Great bomb-shelter siren guitars on this one, by the way. The band closes up shop with a wink, nod and wave to their friends all across the country on ‘All My Friends’ while bright, shimmering keys twinkle and flutter onward. Pleasant, if not a smidge tacky.
Rules Are Predictable is a decent release but certainly not essential. Nothing here really warrants repeat listens and Gabe Archer’s vocals are perhaps a little too cute (emo-lite) and lacking in personality. This might appeal to fans of Longwave, Doves or Death Cab For Cutie, though The Pale Pacific have some catching up to do when tossed up in that salad. I do, however, plan on going back through the band’s catalog in hopes of finding material a bit rougher around the edges.