Trading Basics [LP/CS; Inflated]

Upon the first listen to Trading Basics, the RIYL list just began pouring out of my mouth; overspilling through my ears; bleeding from my eyes. The metallic sting of Polvo, the guttural pounding of Arab on Radar and the mechanical frenzy of Women. Truly an album that trades on nearly three generations of angular experimentation, Palm is the sort of distorted retro-newism that evades all those name checks that came frothing forth in that first listen. That they’re still there, but no longer the crutch necessary to define the brilliant mess of technical skill and impassioned playing that drags its beaten limbs through the Trading Basics minefield is why I (and, by extension, you) will keep coming back. Whatever qualms can be found (the production may be a bit too snappy, particularly on the snare and songs with a more echoing vocal) are immediately dismissed because those decisions only amplify the controlled chaos. And that’s what each Palm song splays out within its oddly timed melodies. A brilliant burst of musical history intentionally distorted and rearranged into a new pattern of sound that retains familiar quirks and freak admiration but stops well short of Paganism. Nothing is a symbol or a call to return to some imagined precipice of superiority. It’s just a weird rock record in a climate where there aren’t nearly enough, because people are busy trying to capitalize on a fad or lost in a nostalgic thought. Trading Basics, in all its broken glory, does neither. Yes, it has a lot in common with certain bands that will brim to the brain’s surface, but listen longer and ignore it as best you can. Palm have found their own “niche” (for what it’s worth) with Trading Basics. So it’s only a matter of 15-20 years until they join the Olympus of RIYL spewings.

Links: Inflated


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