Album Review: The Parlotones—Journey Through The Shadows


Although The Parlotones have been making music for a while, don’t be ashamed if the name doesn’t sound familiar to you. The rock quartet has garnered a large fan base in its home country of South Africa, as well as selling out large venues in both the UK and Germany, but it has yet to strike fame in the good ole U S of A. The band has gone from playing with Coldplay in South Africa to riding in a tour van through the states, a humbling juxtaposition to say the least. But even though the African rockers are still familiarizing themselves with American music fans, it has been beneficial to the group’s progression. Since its first U.S. tour back in 2010, the four-piece has visited the States three times, and it was the amalgamation of The Parlotones’ four American trips that influenced the band’s fifth full-length album, Journey Through The Shadows.

Where the troupe’s earlier work was highly influenced by Brit pop, this record has that patriotic feel to it, pulling from Americana and alternative rock and paying homage to bands like Weezer and They Might Be Giants. But even with apparent influences, The Parlotones make this album their own. JTTS begins with “Freak Show,” a short, minute-and-a-half long a capella intro that highlights the pipes on each member of the band. From there, the foursome leaps into “Soul and Body,” a straightforward, catchy alternative rock track that could be played on any major US rock station.


The album continues in this direction, with swelling, anthemic tracks that prove it’s just a matter of time before The Parlotones grabs the attention it deserves in the US. And although the instrumentation is solid throughout, the highlight of the album is vocalist/guitarist Kahn Morbee’s voice. He can hit any note in his baritone range but can also seduce his listener with a smooth, breathtaking falsetto (“Save Your Best Bits,” “Sweet as a Stolen Kiss,” “Sing You to Sleep,”) that is reminiscent of Muse’s crooner, Matthew Bellamy. Another high point in the album is the band’s experimentation with Americana. Morbee flawlessly adds a hint of twang to his voice as a slew of acoustic guitars strum behind him in “Down by the Lake, “ and slide guitars accompany acoustic instrumentation in the album’s closer, “Suitcase For a Home.”

The Parlotones are meant to play in stadiums, and this record may give it that push to reach the American masses. Journey Through The Shadows is set for a May 8th release in the U.S. via Sovereign Entertainment. The Parlotones will embark on a North American tour shortly thereafter. Click here to pre-order the album.

Tour Dates:

May 17 – The Roxy - Los Angeles, CA
May 18 – Martini Ranch - Scottsdale, AZ
May 21 – The Prophet Bar - Dallas, TX
May 22 – Stubbs, Jr. - Austin, TX
May 23 – Fitzgerald’s - Houston, TX
May 25 – The Plaza Live - Orlando, FL
May 26 – Smith’s Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA
May 27 – Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC
May 28 – DC9 - Washington, DC
May 30 – World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA
June 1 – Highline Ballroom - New York, NY
June 2 - Brighton Music Hall - Allston, MA
June 3- Belmont - Montreal, QC
June 5 – Lee’s Palace - Toronto, ON
June 6 – The Pike Room - Pontiac, MI
June 7 – Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland, OH
June 8 – Schuba’s - Chicago, IL
June 9 – 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN
June 10 – Old Rock House - St. Louis, MO
June 12 – Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO
June 13 – Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City, UT
June 15 – El Corazon - Seattle, WA
June 16 – Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver, BC
June 17 – Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR
June 19 – Harlow’s - Sacramento, CA
June 20 – The Independent - San Francisco, CA