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There is a lot to be said for going it alone, finding your voice, stepping out of the shadows and into the limelight. And that is what we are listening to here. After years of being in other people’s bands Chris Frantz (not that one, a different one) decided it was time to do his own thing, and the result was Palm Trees in Moscow.
The latest one from them, “I Want It Back”, brilliantly sums up what the band is all about. It is a snarling, garage-rock-infused sound that sits in a place once kept warm by various, now iconic, college rock outfits, such as Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth but it is in no way merely treading the same ground.
But, like the great and the good of that scene, Palm Trees in Moscow has developed a sound that blends a warped, not exactly pop sounding but certainly pop-aware, infectiousness with a squalling, garage-rock meets shoegazing noisescape, one woven from reverb-drenched guitars and thunderous beats, cavernous sonics and howling vocals.
Far from being noise for the sake of it, which some bands resort to, bend your ear into these howling salvos, and you realise that they are intricately laced notes and a mesh of chords that seemingly compliment and confound each other simultaneously. They play with dynamic switches and effortless changes of pace, putting the foot on and off the gas as required and finally driving the whole thing at top speed into sonic oblivion.
Man, where has this band been all my life?
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