This one’s definitely not getting the attention it deserves within the riff ravaged scrawling of the psychedelic press. The band started almost on a whim, beginning as a weekend one-off show between friends, then winding up one of ’21’s more savagely burnt offerings. Richie Charles, owner of Richie Records (which is releasing this slab) invited David Nance out to play a solo show in Philly, knowing that he couldn’t get the whole band out and make it work. What transpired instead was Nance traveling to Philly and hooking up with Charles, Emily Robb, and Dan Provenzano to form a new band for the show at Ortlieb’s with some new Nance material in tow. The show opened into a weekend recording session at Robb’s studio and Astute Palate’s storm rendered debut is what’s been left to all of us from the whirlwind of that weekend.
While Nance had just finished the more shaved down Staunch Honey and was getting ready to release it to the world around this time, Palate’s LP actually stands as more of a sibling to his previous record, 2018’s Peaced and Slightly Pulverized . The recordings are raw, with no sense of rifling through myriad takes to find the right polish. The knuckle-dented riffs roil the listener from the first time they hit the tape and there’s a sense that the studio and the listeners are peering into a private synthesis between players that was hidden away before they debuted on stage. A lot of the credit goes to Robb, who was recording seamlessly in the background. Her studio acumen and subtlety give Astute Palate’s record the scratched yet searing feeling that instantly places it among some of Nance’s most vital records. The relative releasee vacuum that this one has had may have stemmed from the fact that the digital slipped out during the chaos of December, but the LP itself arrives this month and if you’re a Richie Recs or Nance Fan, this one should be on your shelf soon.
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