Saturday, 15 June 2013

ALBUM REVIEW: Palms - "Palms"

By: Matt Fitton

 
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/6/2013
Label: Ipecac Recordings



What is really important to take away from this review (if you have made it this far) is that this effort is worth your effort. It is an album of patience and depth that will reward you more upon every subsequent rotation.  What we have on our hands is far more endearing, a collection of songs to lift your mood and celebrate life to in a sometimes desperate world. “Palms” is an absolute triumph on every level. Let it wash over your senses.

 

 

“Palms” CD//DD//LP track listing:

 
1) Future Warrior (7:56)
2) Patagonia (6:41)
3) Mission Sunset (9:58)
4) Shortwave Radio (6:57)
5) Tropics (5:44)
6) Antarctic Handshake (9:42)
 

The Review:

 
So, here it is, after much fever and hype. The long awaited collaboration between what was most of Isis and that dude what does the singing for them Deftones. I loved Isis, and I have been a huge Chino Moreno fan for roughly half my existence on this planet. So it is with little surprise that I really dig this self-titled affair. However, if you've come here expecting colossal riffs and chasm inducing noise then sadly you're in the wrong place. But please do read on, lest you miss out on something truly special...

 
Straight away it's not what you think it's going to be: it's a far more serene animal than the past and current lives of the musicians involved. This is in no way Chino fronting the Isis that you remember. Well, not completely - some of this stuff does hark back to the mellower side of that iconic act. The riffs are there to be uncovered, and they do have some body to them. The aim here though is blissful resonance and calm. Less planets collide, more star showers over the desert. Which is nice?


'Future Warrior' was an ideal candidate to start the album off with, and presents a wise choice made by the group to do so. You can hear the collective influences that have been brought to the table (oh, to sit at that table), but in reality it is more of a Chino Moreno style piece. Anybody familiar with his day job at all will have had their eyes opened to a wide array of dark or uplifting 80s influences over the years. Modern Deftones deal heavily in this; as does a lot of Palms. This opening track sounds like Isis if Chino had always fronted them, and suddenly it all makes sense. The calm build up with a sense of longing, those dark guitars with a dash of bright hope, and a bit of poised rough on the chorus. It's heavy in a soulful sense. Great track, awesome starting point.

 
I really got into 'Mission Sunset' in a BIG way. Offbeat beginnings with a pinch of electronica give way to some delightful sparse guitar flourishes. The drums are really clear on this track, their importance cannot be overstated. So crisp, so clear. It all boils down to those velvet Moreno pipes though, his crooning is possibly even more suited to the clear objectives of this group than it is to the band that brought him to the dance. His clean vocals have been finely honed over the years, almost as if this was some unknown finishing line of sorts. This is essential, blissed out music.

 
The guitar effects on 'Shortwave Radio' make the hair on the back of my neck stand bolt upright. They're downright heavenly, like sunlight dancing on water. It gets meatier at the end with some nice repeated lyrics that are almost mantra like.

 
What is really important to take away from this review (if you have made it this far) is that this effort is worth your effort. It is an album of patience and depth that will reward you more upon every subsequent rotation. No, it's maybe not what you had envisioned, it wasn't even what I had envisioned, but I am glad I was wrong in my prediction. What we have on our hands is far more endearing, a collection of songs to lift your mood and celebrate life to in a sometimes desperate world.

 

“Palms” is an absolute triumph on every level. Let it wash over your senses.
 
 



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