The Pale Pacific - Rules Are Predictable (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Pale Pacific

Rules Are Predictable (2005)


Rules Are Predictable is a surprisingly strong offering from Bellingham, WA outfit the Pale Pacific (formerly the Pale). It's gentle indie pop that packs a lot of diversity into its short span that's emotional without acting overbearing, and a tad arty while leaving all pretension behind.

The EP suffocates in the melancholic air that surrounds their mellow indie pop -- in a really good way -- that, while certainly carries similarities to Death Cab For Cutie, isn't ever quite a full-on rip-off. Sure, closer "All My Friends" contains an introducing vibe fairly reminiscent of "Information Travels Faster," but lead vocalist Gabe Archer has a soft, comforting, genuine voice that's closer to Matt Pryor than anything. Though in compositions several decades (seemingly) shorter (mostly), there's a similar feel on Rules Are Predictable to the This Is Not What You Had Planned EP from Respira; that is, a more traditionally emo-influenced, clinically depressed sound.

"Sucker Punch" opens things up, and will likely have you singing along with the hushed, whispered chorus. Its immediate follower, "In The Sun Pt. 1" is a more upbeat, dancey track that somehow works well with its awkward vibe and restrained, angry tone, with the command of "Play the part, play the part / better than the original," teeth seemingly grit in the latter line. Closer "All My Friends" continues the impressively consistent mood of the disc with the dynamics in the chorus kicked up a subtle notch.

The Pale Pacific's newest album is both pleasant and promising, leaving you wanting more as any good record should. It isn't the most original thing ever, but it's executed nicely, well-written, and definitely hints at greater things coming.

Sucker Punch
Identity Theft
In The Sun Pt. 1