Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Palace Guard - All Night Long: An Anthology, 1965-1966

The team at Omnivore Records has struck again, with a delightful collection of 60’s California-meets-British Invasion guitar pop by The Palace Guard, Emitt Rhodes’ first band. The excellent liner notes detail some details of the fascinating milieu they played in - among other things, they were the house band at famed Sunset Strip rock club The Hullabaloo Club. You can see them prominently featured in this video about the club’s opening:

They were one of an army of Southern California bands formed in the wake of the Beatles’ popularity, and they do a good job of aping the Beatles in places. The core of the band was three brothers, so you would expect tight vocal harmonies. You would be right. The Palace Guard were “locally famous”, but never broke through on the national charts. In 1965-1966, the national charts were a crowded place.

There are plenty of studio touches to punch up the music - psychedelic, jangly guitars, an actual calliope in the song “Calliope”, and of course, the virtual wall of vocal harmonies that make the choruses stand out. 

In their short career, they released six singles, 12 songs, and it's all on here. It's a fun time capsule, and is out now (May 21) on Omnivore Recordings.

The Palace Guard at Omnivore Recordings

No comments: