Thursday, 25 July 2013

Palms- Palms

While you may not be familiar with the name PALMS, there's plenty of prestige in their line-up.Consisting of Aaron Harris, Jeff Caxide and Bryant Clifford Meyer all formerly of recently departed post-metal legends ISIS (among various other projects) joined by DEFTONES vocalist Chino Moreno, PALMS produce a different type of post-metal to what you might be accustomed to which allows them to more fully explore their ambient leanings while still creating epic soundscapes. With Moreno and ISIS being mutual admirers of each others output, this collaboration isn't as outlandish as it initially seems and Moreno's wide vocal range from gentle crooning to impassioned screams perfectly complements the loud/ quiet dynamics of the music.

"Future Warrior" introduces itself with a dreamy synthesizer before gentle melodies introduce themselves with the harsher side of Moreno's voice only fleetingly making itself known before "Patagonia" introduces a much more tense atmosphere with Moreno singing about "a hole in space where the demons wait" over guitar work which slowly builds up and morphs, constantly threatening to kick into something devastatingly heavy but maintaining restraint throughout. On "Mission Sunset", instrumentation drops in and out to create a sparse soundscape before the chorus showcases the whole band performing as a unit with a passion that's clear to hear. Overall the sound is very positive and Moreno's unique way of writing lyrics, almost like poetry rather than a song, provides another fascinating focal point other than the musicianship. "Shortwave Radio" is the least immediate track here with unexpected chord progressions and melodies, but all the better for it. It's the first real opportunity for Caxide, Harris and Clifford Meyer to flex their post-metal muscles while still maintaining the shoe-gaze sound of the rest of the album and, whether he's singing or screaming, Chino Moreno's vocals exude pure emotion. Following this, penultimate track, "Tropics" seems fairly straightforward but the band members' idiosyncrasies shine through more subtly before the slow, dreamy "Antarctic Handshake" concludes the album. More ambient and with more of an emphasis on synth than elsewhere on the album, it provides a suitably gentle finish. While the album covers similar musical ground to Moreno's hit-and-miss TEAM SLEEP project, it is much more consistent. Granted, it's not yet scraping the dizzying heights of "Oceanic" or "White Pony" (and whether it'll be lumbered with the dreaded 'side project' tag remains to be seen) but "Palms" is never-the-less an intriguing introduction to what could be a very exciting prospect. (7/10)

"Palms" is out now through Ipecac 

No comments:

Post a Comment