Review: Afflecks Palace – Everything Is An Attempt To Be Human EP

Everything Is An Attempt To Be Human

Afflecks is a place in Manchester’s hip Northern Quarter with a history: in 1989 it joined the Hacienda as the city’s epicentre of the famous/infamous Second Summer Of Love, with tenants Eastern Bloc supplying the records and neighbours Identity keeping The Stone Roses in flares.

No prizes for guessing then where Afflecks Palace come from, and being dubbed by some as the ‘sound of nu-Madchester’ cements those associations. But these are some large bell bottoms to fill, the road back from Spike Island being littered with over-hyped cover bands and the ghosts of what feels like almost the last time it was OK to have a good time.

Formed in 2019, the quartet’s obvious retro-sheen is thankfully not just authentic but filled with blissed out melodies and a fluidity that underpins the old era’s two rules: first dance, and then be good to each other.

Their second EP, Everything Is An Attempt To Be Human, helps with both; opener Pink Skies is flecked with gentle wah-wah and peaceful psychedelic melodies, reminiscent for scene veterans of the briefly famous Mock Turtles, while the tumbling Ripley Jean…well, bangs the drums.

It’s not all trips and flips though; the title-track is just that little bit more fish-eye lensed, drowning in reverb and closer to rocks being thrown than rock n roll, as lyrically it strides through the tear gas and goes up against the man, while the best is saved ‘til last, It All Comes Around drifting in a parallel universe but with a chorus constantly looking for a rabble to rouse.

The trouble with the past is it ain’t what it used to be. Afflecks Palace don’t care if you were there or not, just that you want to be with them now, whatever groovy planet that ends up being.

7.5/10

Andy Peterson

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