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"Amplifier Magazine"

When guitarist Michael Aryn and vocalist Katrina Whitney came together as Palodine, each had done time with a number of bands across a broad variety of styles, including experimental and straightforward takes on gothic, folk, country and shoegaze. Like twin children of different mothers, Aryn and Whitney seemed to take similar inspirations from each experience, making their meeting and musical single-mindedness almost pre-destined. With help from multi-instrumentalist Jason Brooks, Palodine makes introspective but wildly intense roots music, a shambling soundscape that draws in turns on the swirling buzz of psychedelic folk, the dark storytelling ethic of country and the sonic density and emotional frenzy of shoegaze. Depending on which style Aryn and Whitney allow to bubble to the surface within each song on their debut album, Desolate Son, the pair fashion a shifting sound that suggests a boozy, bluesy summit between the atmospheric haze of Mazzy Star and the dusty moan of 16 Horsepower. Other than the joy of creation, there is little light on the aptly named Desolate Son, as Aryn and Whitney don’t attempt to illuminate the darkness but merely report on its quality with passionate resolve. Palodine’s water is a little chilly, but ultimately fine...come on in. - Brian Baker

"Americana UK"

"A relentless dark rain of apocalypse beneath stumbling cries of mercy" is how one critic described this Seattle based band, and really, this sums them up perfectly. Without a major chord in sight, Palodine's brooding, insidious sound is certainly not recommended for partying. Obvious influences are PJ Harvey / Siouxsie and the Banshees, but there is a lot more to them than that. A clear debt is also owed to 60s American West Coast acts such as Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service, with the songs, all written by singer Katrina Whitney and guitarist Michael Aryn, constituting an intense, hypnotic trip of almost nightmare proportions. It is very easy to do this kind of stuff badly, and it is a style prone to extremes of pretentiousness, but there is a compelling directness and thoughtfulness in the arrangements here, which ensures that the whole thing is carried off effectively and avoids any of the looming pitfalls. "Sugar Water Orphan" with its lumbering, loping build up to the frenzied, menacing , but controlled climax, is the pick of the 10 tracks. - Josh Hinshelwood

"High Bias"

Palodine's music evokes mystery, especially that found squirreled away in the lonely, dark places of America. The songs twist on a country/folk axis, but fresh tendrils in blacker, meaner shades wave in the breeze. Katrina Whitney sings like she's trying to hold back the bad news; Michael Aryn and Jason Brooks use their instruments to support her worldview. As you might expect from songs titled Vengeance and Devour Me, there arent a lot of smiles here, but theres no bombast either. The dour mood holds, but its not without its moments of sunlight peeking through the clouds. If you think Tarnation is too cheerful or the Walkabouts too rocking, Palodine will be right up your alley. - Michael Toland

"Three Imaginary Girls"

An ode to this American way of life can be heard in all its mordant power on Seattle band Palodine's traumatically tender and awesomely affecting Desolate Son. Similar to the new American rock of certain neo-psychedelic bands, this debut is formed in the rustic ferocity of Sixteen Horsepower's religious-schizophrenic wake. But the stark lilting or loping late afternoon desert soundtrack is balanced by Katrina Whitney's singing from the bowels of spiritual poverty and mutilated bloodlines. Desolate Son is a relentless dark rain of apocalypse beneath stumbling cries of mercy. "Devils Song" and "Devour Me" are one-two punches of gospel folk-metal, confirming the album's sequence of valley, peak, valley, inverted. - Chris Estey

"All Media Guide"

Seattle-based trio Palodine came into being with an ear for the kind of dark moodiness that other acts near and far had long appreciated would be a potent blend -- goth moodiness, high and lonesome twang and a cinematic sensibility can all be powerful individually, but in concert, as groups from the Walkabouts and Mojave 3 to Faith and Disease and the Tindersticks had shown, the results can be astonishing. So if the combination Palodine brings to bear on its debut album Desolate Son isn't new as such, what matters is the strength of the songs and performances, and the group succeeds in spades. Vocalist Katrina Whitney has a strong, careful delivery while guitarist Michael Aryn isn't afraid to crank up the volume while avoiding stun-level riffs -- the brief but powerful solo on "Fire in the Field" helps ratchet up the tension right from the start of the album. Jason Brooks adds in with steady if not always uniquely remarkable drumming along with production help and in combination the musicians aim for the darkly dramatic and nail it more times than not, as the sea chantey-like "Vengeance" and the epic rise of "Devils Song," where Aryn again gets to show off just enough with some excellent work. Individual moments throughout shine -- the low-volume organ melody that starts "Sugar Water Orphan" is one which in itself turns out to be a good fake given how the song picks up into a rollicking pace by the end, while the distanced guitar suddenly set against a tense rhythm on "How to Use" makes for another dramatic start. Meantime, the steady backwoods stomp that opens "Frozen" alone shows that if they wanted too Palodine could easily take a more strictly revivalist approach -- it's to their credit that they look towards broader horizons too (as the breakbeat and tight funk groove later in the song readily demonstrate). - Ned Ragget

"Parasite Gods"

At first listen Desolate Son is everything I hope it would be, it’s passionate, dark, and it got something stirring inside me when I listen to it. Devils Song, if taken literally is exactly what the title suggests a cautionary tale about the Devil slipping into a persons life without the realization that it has happened. I can remember being taught in Sunday school that to deny the Devils existence is to invite him into your life. But I think the song has a much deeper meaning, about struggling with personal demons and how if you let your guard down for even a second you could be right back at the beginning trying to exorcise your demons but maybe this time you can’t. There’s line in the song that goes “that beautiful kingdom is way too far to leave this room”, to me that’s someone who has been trying for so long to deal with their problem and thinks the road has been traveled for too long and the light ahead is too far away.

When listening to the album I noticed a few Bible references, usually that would be a turn off for me, but I think Palodine did it in a way that it made me understand the meaning behind the songs a little better. If I had got this album last year I would have said it was the best album of the year but as it stands I’ve only recently received the album so I’m going to say it’s the one of the best albums I own and I would urge everyone who reads this to go out and pick it up. - Swan


There was a time when the term "country rock" didn't make people cringe. Early pioneers, like the Byrds, tried to strip down both rock and country to get at the heart of American song. It was a noble goal that unfortunately lead to other artists who focused on combining the most bland and mundane elements of each genre. In the last decade many others, notably the five albums of collaborations between Johnny Cash and Rick Ruben, have returned to the hunt for the primal American sound. So it is with Seattle musicians Palodine.

Palodine comes at the problem from, primarily, a rock point of view. The throb and menace heard on their CD "Desolate Son" is the legacy of The Doors and Nick Cave. The twang that accents the songs shifts you out of time. The songs here are contemporary but drag you to earlier, half forgotten, times. Like almost remembered fairy tales there is a haunting sense of loss.

Not that the recording is about loneliness, per se. The simple instrumentation and composition recalls a love affair more than a lost stranger. Palodine understands that there can be a greater gulf between two people when they stand, or lay, next to each other than if they were a thousand miles away.

"Desolate Son" is a beautifully troubling album. It's the CD that a couple puts on when they're first starting a relationship that they realize might not be good for them. A relationship that they've started despite all their misgivings, despite the heart-break of the past. It's the music that plays on a crappy stereo in the middle of the night filling the bedrooms of new lovers. But these are also the songs that will be stuck in people's heads when their lovers have gone for good. - Jordn Block

"75 Or Less"

Swathed in American Gothic—as in Stephen King, not Grant Wood—Palodine sound a lot like labelmate Vivian Linden; Katrina Whitney's voice can also be confused with Cat Power or Dolores O'Riordan, depending on the track. Seemingly innocuous guitars and percussion morph into a gloom of menace, as the songs cover such uplifting topics as murder, abuse, "broken down cars and broken down dreams," and a mining death. But they make tragedy sound lovely. - Meredith

"Mercury Moon Magazine"

Imagine a band that fuse the sonic haze of Mazzy Star with the rustic ferocity of Sixteen Horsepower.

Palodine are a Seattle three-piece who comprise the rich vocals of Katrina Whitney, the lush instrumentation of Michael Aryn and the pedal steel, dobro, bass, and backing vocals of Jason Brooks.

Desolate Son is their debut full-length album. It is a record of dark and primal beauty. Tales of violence, remorse and final words. Its moods move from fierce to sombre. Fire in the Field offers ‘no hope of hiding’ with its brooding mid tempo pace. Rough-hewn guitar interplays with Whitney’s langourous voice. Then it stops in a heartbeat.

Lazy guitar strums and spooky organ introduces Sadlands. “...but it’s bad and sad in the sadlands”. Its a place where you will only find “broken down cars and broken down dreams”.

Palodine portray a gothic world of dark American music. A soundtrack for post-apocalyptic atonement. The brooding atmosphere continues through Sugar Water Orphan, Vengeance and Frozen. The later track may reflect that they self-produced and mixed the record on an unheated floating barge in Seattle’s Lake Union during one of the coldest weeks in the city’s history. On Devil’s Song it’s all floaty and very Mazzy Star. It is almost a lullaby utill growing in power very gradually with drums and ambient guitar.

Devour Me has a deeply brooding gospel flavour. Whitney pleads “Oh God above devour me/surround me”. She has reached the end of her tether; can’t take his “drinking and cursing” and says “I’ll kill the hell you put us through”. Sombre, and yet compelling. This is an essential album. In a genre that is becoming crowded they really stand out. - Lee Edwards

"Plug In Music"

It is difficult to believe that Palodine that is described in the band’s biography is the same Palodine that made “Desolate Son.” Claiming that their band members are the children of Mormon immigrants and preachers, specific Palodine members, like guitarist Michael Aryn and singer Katrina Whitney, cite experience with “shoegazer, gothic, experimental, folk and country.” But after a few listens to the band’s debut album, everything comes into focus and, clearly, this is the same Palodine.

Pounding instrumentation sets the tone of “Fire in the Field” as Palodine open strongly without giving everything away all at once. Guitar twangs on “Sadlands” as the song deliberately meanders with its blues meets folk melody while “Vengeance” offers a quieter melody. Elsewhere “Sugar Water Orphan” sees the band demonstrate their power on the full and dynamic song where a well placed guitar solo takes control towards the end as the instrumentation gains momentum before the strongly rhythmic and twangy melody of “Frozen” will surely have your attention. Palodine keep “How to Use” an interesting listen with gritty instrumentation and pattering percussion. “I left a note I thought you’d want to know/How I felt and how I went,” Whitney sings on “Morgantown” amongst darkly melodic fingerpicking guitar.

Less gloomy and moody and more like a somber caution, “Desolate Son” is full of folk based melodies that come to life as dark, rich melodies and carefully layered instrumentation. Whitney’s voice, vaguely hinting of Natalie Merchant, smoothly sweeps through the music, offering both delicacy and strength while constantly hinting at something more than first appearances might suggest. Palodine’s debut album “Desolate Son” offers many things, but wisely doles them out bit by bit and draws you in. - Corrinne


"Desolate Son" LP - 2006 (Tarnished Records)
Airplay tracks: "Fire In The Field"

"Garden of Deceit" LP - 2008 (Tarnished Records)



Children of Coal Miners and Mormon Immigrants don’t usually make for good rock music candidates,
but in the case of Palodine they bring with them an underlying power and intensity which tests the boundaries of dark American music. Before meeting each other, guitarist Michael Aryn and singer Katrina Whitney had virtually parallel music experiences. Both had dabbled in shoegazer,
gothic, experimental, folk and country projects. When they began playing together, their musical kinship became readily apparent and their influences quickly formed into their own unique sound. Within a few months of forming, they self-produced and mixed their debut record (“Desolate Son” 2006) on an unheated floating barge during one of the coldest weeks in the Seattle’s history.

2007 saw Palodine performing live as a four or five piece and opening for such acclaimed artists as Woven Hand (Featuring David Eugene Edwards of Sixteen Horsepower), Willard Grant Conspiracy
and Low, as well as a return to the studio to work on their follow-up record. Recorded by Michael Aryn with Desmond Shea (Diamanda Galas, Tarnation, Einstürzende Neubauten) at the mixing board, “Garden Of Deceit” deliveres a darker and grittier interpretation of their sound, more bombastic percussion, and heightened urgency from Michael’s guitar playing. This Sophmore effort also sees Katrina delivering a deeper and more resonant vocal style, while continuing to explore the Biblical imagery and religious symbolism that were alluded to in their prior effort.

Garden of Deciet gives us ten songs about lies, hypocrisy, scars, jealousy, deceit, restoration, and endurance. Here we witness a band evolving and working out their personal demons. While it may be a more direct and raw delivery both musically and thematically than their debut, there are also moments of introspection and vulnerability, ultimately resolving with a sense of illumination.
Currently, Palodine plays out live with the support of Christopher Hydinger on percussion and Christopher Howe on bass guitar.