Palette Knife is a three-piece emo band from Columbus, Ohio that’s been making moves and gaining fans in the Midwest for a few years now and are ready to unleash their powerful debut album, Ponderosa Snake House and the Chamber of Bullshit, on May 28, 2021 via Take This To Heart Records. They’re one of those bands that keep getting better every time I saw them live, so if that’s any indication, and with the United States slowly opening up, the timing of this release could not have been any better.
Before we get to the good stuff, I have two things I feel I need to mention before I forget: First, these song titles are great. While they may not have the length that emo and pop punk bands of the past used, they are humorous and I’m here for it. Secondly, the album title — I think it would be awesome if they live-streamed their release show from an actual Ponderosa Steakhouse. I happen to know there is still one in Columbus.
The album kicks off strong with the title track, and if this is your first time listening you will instantly be pulled in. That’s what an opening song should do — get your attention. It’s obvious from the start the three members have great chemistry as this track flows smooth as a river.
Another track that stands out is “The Only Difference between Smough and Ornstein is Press Coverage.” What caught my attention was a lyric about hanging out at a thrift store. As with most of the album, this track is about a relationship and just hanging out. “Hungover Brunch at Tiffanys” is relatable and one of the tracks that I just love the title and find humorous. There’s a line that goes, “I want to go out but all my friends are married,” and that my friend, is real life.
In addition to a great opening track, the closing song is a banger. “Fullmetal Crickets” might be one of my favorite tracks on the effort, and again, the title is awesome. “I have a lullaby of crickets singing in my head,” is one of the best lines I’ve heard in a while — I love it! If an opening track is meant to pull you in then a closing track should leave you wanting more, and that’s exactly the case here.
Ponderosa Snake House and the Chamber of Bullshit is Palette Knife’s debut album and I’m already wanting to hear more. This is an album that will be enjoyed by many and should end up on AOTY lists come December. You can tell the band took their time and put all they had into this release. Palette Knife is a name you should get used to seeing — They have a very bright future.