Palms Album Review
“Ethereal landscapes covered in broken glass”
“Waterboarding with your favorite stuffed animal”
These are a couple of really abstract descriptions in reference to the new Palms record. Palms is the super collaboration of Chino Moreno of Deftones and Bryant Clifford Meyer, Jeff Caxide and Aaron Harris formerly of ISIS. Upon first listen of the record one might be quick to quip, rather snidely, “….this is just ISIS fronted by Chino”. But, upon further inquiry, Palms becomes a band uniquely enveloped in finding a voice equal parts atmosphere, equal parts brutality.
This record, released late last month, does not take anything away from the individual members respective bands, but rather adds to the mystique of them. There are certain familiarities on the record that are signature of the members, but the record stands firmly on its own.
Out of the gate, “Future Warrior” brings the muted, anticipation, and suspense that Harris, Caxide, and Meyer are known for. Couple this with Moreno’s breathy wail, circling around the rhythm section, teetering from soft whisper to bleeding shriek with hum-along verse, makes for a standout track on the record. “Patagonia” commands the listener to stay within transparent boundaries using space that also asks to explore beyond said constraints. “Mission Sunset” flirts with electronica, but used sparsely, to build uneasy emotion.
All this to say that the album offers the listener the underlying theme of place. Song titles like ‘Tropics”, “Antarctic Handshake” and “Mission Sunset” speak of horizons. They speak of place within place and sound within and without sound. The expanse of making music in nature, they evoke images and feelings that are inherent in our DNA when we hear those names. Palms feels as though it is the bridge between the physical point of place, and the question of spiritual ascension.
“Surfing the Nile on razors”
“Melting with God into the sun”
Either way, it doesn’t take many words to get it.