Palms – Palms (Ipecac Recordings)

Friday, 28th June 2013
Rating: 8/10

Pretty much the “Isis-meets-Deftones” pairing that was envisioned by just about everything but the parties involved, Palms is the retro-fitted  combination of Deftones throat Chino Moreno, and three former members of Isis – Jeff Caxide (bass), Bryant Clifford Meyer (guitars), and Aaron Harris (drums). Being that Deftones are presently ride a wave of critical acclaim like never before and Isis were always adored, the self-titled debut from this quartet couldn’t fail if they tried.

Like the gentle ebb heard on Isis’s Wavering Radiant swansong, the Palms album curls up into those gliding segments that are clearly suited for Moreno’s ethereal vocals. There’s nothing remotely abrasive here (save for some brief intensity on “Mission Sunset”); without the burly vocals of Aaron Turner, these songs have a much more post-rock feel to them. The Caxide-Meyer-Harris trio plays off each other without a problem, with Harris’s instantly-recognizable drum patterns holding down the fort on “Patagonia,” one of the early highlights to emerge from the batch of six songs.

Once a connection is made with the album, you see where the quartet was headed in terms of outlook and presentation. Designed to tie into the sunny-day, calm appeal of Southern California, Palms is reflective in all the right spots (“Shortwave Radio”), while even demonstrating a little thinking that isn’t derived from their main bands on “Tropics.” The results are undeniable, and thus a rare supergroup with lasting appeal is born and cemented almost immediately.

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