There are some Metal genres that I don’t understand. I try to keep an open mind towards everything I listen to, and along with my focus on ‘music in context’ – I happen to enjoy something of everything I listen to, even if I don’t understand it. PALMER is one of those bands. I can fully understand why individuals may enjoy their music…and the band is extremely talented…but I found myself dazing quite a bit with their debut release, “This One Goes Till Eleven”.
The self dubbed ‘Noisecore’ band, PALMER uses a lot of modern and classic sounds integrated together to create a very progressive sludge sound on this album that is truly hard to make comparisons too. One can’t deny that they band is unique in many ways including how it structures its music. The slow, plodding pace of most of the album keeps the beast of an album in a good general direction even if it hinders some of the directions the band could have followed.
An interesting blend of heavy sludge laden riffs and melodic interludes, the music on “This One Goes Till Eleven” is a combination of simplicity and thoughtfulness as the band transverses Jazz interludes (“Bitter Sweet Revenge” in particular) to BLACK SABBATH structures. Of course, I enjoyed PALMER more on the faster songs (maybe that’s just the Thrash fan in me coming out) but their ability to smoothly change sounds is impressive too.
I found myself wanting more from the album though. The odd vocal arrangements, ranging from a Metalcore bark to vocal noises in the background, kept me interested but after the first song I felt as though I already knew where the band was heading. This album failed to latch on and take me for a ride. I do know that fans of HIGH ON FIRE or MASTODON may very well enjoy this album immensely.
A talented group of band members, I thought after “Shedding Skin” that I was in for a real progressive ride. I ended up feeling like I was going in circles instead. I could have used a little more variety but it’s still a solid album.
Songs to check out: “Shedding Skin”, “Bitter Sweet Revenge”, “Temptation”.
(Online April 7, 2008)