With one of the worst album covers of all time comes Oh, My Treasured Things, the debut recording by Pale Man Made, a Newcastle band heavily influenced by the frenzied guitar rock of UK acts such as Orange Juice and The Wedding Present. The photograph on the cover of their newest CD shows an assortment of odd items, one of the personal treasures being a 7” record by the former mention above. It is no surprise to see this included on the sleeve because the music of Pale Man Made fuses fiery post punk guitar and punchy Gang of Four style bass lines.
This four piece create a grimy guitar driven pop sound that is definitely reminiscent of early Wedding Present. Tracks such as “Sea I Am” demonstrate this well. The bass chugs along in the tradition of Joy Division’s renowned rhythm section and the guitars lead with Pixies-like intensity. What sets Pale Man Made apart here is the nonchalant vocals of Christianne Ormston. The catchy “Pinches”explores negative space with a train jumping bass line and adept drumming. The guitars are softer in the main verse of the track until midway through when they suddenly explode in an outburst of distortion.
Oh, My Treasured Things successfully combines catchy songwriting with both harsh and serene musical elements. Don’t let the unattractive cover of the CD put you off though. The songs are definitely worthwhile and that is the important part.