Album: Palms – Step Brothers

palms’s Carol Bowditch gives the new Palms record a spin.

Risen from the grave of the much-loved Sydney outfit, Red Riders, is Palms. Ex-frontman, Al Grigg, and bandmate Tom Wallace took on the new musical frontier with help on guitars and bass to form a super-indie group to win over the hearts of young gals like myself, from Bondi to beyond.

Step Brothers is a high-octane moody affair, with a track-list that is quite far departed from the sounds of Red Riders. It’s musical collage of feelings about love, regret, aggression and happiness that comes from different relationships. Lead singer Grigg hollers about love over and over in the eleven track long-player, the loudest moaning about longing for another comes in the simply named track, “Love”.

While, even before any new music had been released, Palms already had some level of acclaim from their Red Riders days. The finished product, produced by Straight Arrows/Royal Headache’s Owen Penglis, is not slick in production. His musical mastery has made the record sound as if it were recorded in Grigg’s parents kitchen. The lo-fi aesthetic of the record may not may not appeal to everyone that loved Red Riders, and could possibly be passed off for another scratchy indie record. But, I’m sure in a live setting hearing the songs would be brill, due to the pleasing indie melodies, the fast-paced, high energy output and the exhausted emotion in Grigg’s voice heard throughout the album.

If you’re in Australia, you can see Palms do their thing live as they support Cloud Control on their national tour on the following dates:

Wed 28 Aug ANU Bar, Canberra
Fri 30 Aug The Gov, Adelaide
Sat 31 Aug Capitol, Perth
Wed 4 Sep Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Thu 5 Sep Star Bar, Bendigo
Fri 6 Sep Forum, Melbourne
Sat 7 Sep Republic Bar, Hobart
Tue 10 Sep Wollongong Uni Bar, Wollongong
Wed 11 Sep Bar on the Hill, Newcastle
Thu 12 Sep The Metro, Sydney

Words by Carol Bowditch.