Palms and Crypts at The Troubadour, Los Angeles: Live Review

By on 15 July 2013
Joshua went to see Palms...

Joshua went to see Palms…

Terrorizer’s Joshua Sindell took in Palms and Crypts at The Troubadour, Los Angeles 12 July 2013. Here’s what he made of the experience…

A meeting of like minds, Palms finds Deftones frontman Chino Moreno teaming with three members of brainy, now-defunct, post-metal band Isis: bassist Jeff Caxide, drummer Aaron Harris, and guitarist/keyboard player Bryant Clifford Meyer. With a name that evokes their base of Los Angeles, the group is playing a short tour of intimate California clubs, including tonight’s sold-out event. (On the 29th, Palms opens for System Of A Down at the enormous Hollywood Bowl. Intimacy rarely pays the bills.)

Crypts? A forgettable conglom of Casio boombox beats, emo wailing and keyboard waffle from Seattle. Not recommended unless you missed out on the Blood Brothers and Jaguar Love. And please consider yourself lucky if you did.

With Palms, there’s none of that messy tug-of-war between styles that make the Deftones fascinating or confounding to so many. Here, Moreno has found musicians he probably would have sold his autographed collection of Morrissey 8x10s to join 20 years ago, and he makes no effort to change his familiar breathy vocals and overwrought lyrics of vague longing and graceful damnation. Nor do the Isis gang try to mutate their sound into new shapes. Instead, a placid form of streamlined, Formica heaviness emerges, fraught with nods to Moreno’s favourite languid ’80s touchstones –- Simple Minds, Wang Chung’s soundtrack to ‘To Live And Die In L.A.’, etc. -– along with guitars that mimic time-lapsed photography of cloud formations. When Palms cover Swervedriver’s fine “Rave Down” in an effort to clarify their shoegazer origins, it only shows up the lack of tricks in their own bag. But they are indeed warmly received by their fans, plenty of whom are still paid-in-full members of the Cult Of Chino, who stand stock-still and listen intently. When the hour-long concert is done, most seem unwilling to let the band’s last airy chords fade to nothingness.

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About Miranda Yardley

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