Palm's 'Shadow Expert' Slices Time
  • MONDAY, JUNE 19, 2017

  • Posted by: Peter Hammel


I hear Slint. I hear Animal Collective. I hear a lot of things, but, what it comes down to, is that Palm is Palm. They're establishing an exclusive sound for themselves, but also creating music that is indistinct from song to song. It's all of the same destructive formula, but entirely new at each track. Palm's new EP, Shadow Expert, is an expert performance.

Palm's 2015 debut album was a collection of what the upstate New York group could accomplish. They're frequently disjunct, sometimes atmospheric, and always staccato. Trading Basics's "Ankles" is packed with off-beat percussion and guitar riffs and topped off with a decadent outro. This type of diversity is replicated throughout Shadow Expert, where "Two Toes" takes the cake with its danceable bass, doubled percussion and guitar hits, and a shoegaze conclusion. Their lightly processed vocals echo Animal Collective. Add Slint's odd time signature, and you get Palm.

Ultimately, what Palm exudes is tightness. I have never heard a rock band so together in its instrumental performance. The band's ability to maintain an "on-the-same-page" connection is shocking. Expect funky rhythms and wacky melodic choices, but don't forget to recognize their inherent sync. Apparently Palm lacks formal instruction of their instruments which is honestly unexpected as they play songs as if they're being read off of sheet music while being conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

There's essentially no way to describe Palm. Different would be my one adjective, but give them a listen and decide what you think. Just don't regret not liking them because they're too different.
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