TREETOP FLYERS – Palomino
aaamusic | On 16, Mar 2016
I should preface this review with a confession; I am unashamedly in love with almost everything psychedelic (except psytrance, God I hate psytrance), so take this review with a pinch of salt and I’ll try my best to write objectively.
So, Neil Young has a new band? No really, is he fronting Treetop Flyers because it’s really difficult to tell and for a band aiming for that late sixties/early seventies vibe there isn’t a greater compliment. From start to finish, Palomino is a truly authentic approach to the sound that defined some of music’s greatest stories.
Opening track ‘You Darling You’ is sublime with melodic harmonies melting along with an unexpected synth undercurrent. It’s like a pastiche of the sixties with a poor attempt to make it modern and it sounds fantastic. Then it’s on to ‘Sleepless Nights’, a classic piece of infectious guitar work and an emotionally charged chorus that’s impossible not to hum along to. I’m digging the ambient ending as well, which rolls with confidence into ‘Lady Luck’, a soft country-rock track of grand proportions.
‘It’s a Shame’ brings that druggy soul feel more in tune with the Motown influences seen in rock in the early 70s. The track shows a level of diversity in Treetop Fliers’ sound and highlights their ability to switch up the tempo with ease.
The up until now unstoppable energy of Palomino is slowed with the element of personal tragedy seen in ‘St Andrew’s Cross’. It’s a beautiful ode to lead singer Reid Morrison’s father, who died following the recording of their debut album The Mountain Moves. ‘Falling Back’ and ‘Fairytales & Lullabies’ continue to show just why I’m so goddamn excited about this band, but it’s ’31 Years’ that stands out as possibly the strongest track on Palomino. Driven by organs it starts the windup of an album desperate to keep wailing long into the night, something ‘Never Been So Hard’ unfortunately reinforces with an epic sense of closure. ‘Wild Winds’ plays like the raucous encore of a band stunned at just how well they’ve nailed it, awesome stuff.
Palomino throughout is quite blatantly influenced by the sound of bands like CSNY, but its greatest strength comes from the real sense of originality oozing in every track. Treetop Fliers have somehow managed to sound like a slickly produced tribute act playing all their own music while the crowd still thinks they’re listening to the classics. It’s wholly bizarre and utterly brilliant and leads credence to the thought of these guys carrying on for years to come.