Record review: Palms – Step Brothers (2013, LP)

Palms

Not to be confused with the Los Angeles-based Deftones-affiliated band by the same name, Sydney quartet Palms have taken a refreshingly traditional route by opting for a full-length debut recording with Step Brothers, and not the three-EP-and-four-singles approach that many new bands seem to be going for recently. If, like me, you enjoy the simple pleasure of hearing three or four raggedy chords being battered out of an old guitar with a hint of a pop melody, a smattering of punk venom, throatily-screamed vocals, and a heap of clanking and bashing noises in the background, then you’ll like what’s going on here. The band’s Facebook page lists their genre as ‘shredding’ and their sound as ‘strum, strum, bang, wah, wah, wah, strum, boom, crash, strummmmmmmm,’ and that’s a pretty accurate description of what’s to be found on this instantly appealing, eleven-track record. Second track ‘Love’ is the obvious highlight; singer-guitarist Al Grigg’s howling during the chorus sounds like recording it probably shredded his vocal chords, but the results were well worth it. ‘You Were Mine’ is another peak, as torrents of youthful angst and desperate longing come pouring out of the band in a series of scuzzy, scratchy, and catchy riffs. Single ‘Summer Is Done With Us’ sees Grigg barely containing his aggression in another savage outpouring of emotion, and downbeat closer ‘Far Gone’ provides a quieter, almost soulful finish to a more-than-promising album. (Spunk Records)

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