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Distorted Guitars? Check.
Plucky bass lines? Check.
Drums? At times a bit inaudible, but still a check.
Vocals? …Is that what that is?
Ok, I joke. It’s probably all part of the “kids in mum’s garage making noisy, messy, surfy/indie rock” image that Sydney fuzz-sters Palms have going on.
But those DIY good vibes just ooze out of this jungle of a record like no tomorrow. For the most part, the 11 tracks on their sophomore outing Crazy Rack are a relentless arsenal of face melting guitar solos and intangible vocals that borderline screechy at times.
Opening with lead single Bad Apple, we are catapulted full force into a frantic banger, with guitars swallowing up lyrical coherence as images of vintage vagrants pogoing around their local sweat-filled watering holes with glee flash by.
The drums take a step back in the follow-up Rainbow, but the tracks plods along sweet enough into the call and response wrath of Thoughts of You, with the lyrics slightly more definable and the hook catchy as hell, if not slightly piercing.
One Cold Night acts as the first stand out for the record. That delicious plucky bass line intro grabs you instantly, as we descend into the strums and the wry lyrical wit of lines.
Almost half way through and we’re greeted with Sleep Too Much, a track containing harmonies that definitely garner appreciation, while acoustically led No More provides the second highlight of the record. “The sun is coming up, it’s time to give it up”, then an understated percussion line appears in the second chorus, cutting brilliantly through the guitar line. The epitome of simple yet effective.
We’re lucky enough to have two gems in a row, with seventh track In My Mind possessing an explosive chorus juxtaposed again subtle verses and a bridging guitar part that is continuous-knee-bend inducer.
Having thrashed through one-and-a-half minutes of Beatdown the sounds begin to simmer, as the charming hook and falsetto vocals of Fake Stare melt into the droning Photographs. We end on Dreamcatcher, a composition with a ridiculous amount of noise that at first is a tad too much, but then the chorus reigns triumphant.
Listening to Crazy Rack for the most part screams a scene of four lads, doing the musical nasty and eventually popping out a record that is very well composed – yet disguises itself as a right old mess. Mostly brilliant.
Watch: Palms – Bad Apple