Album Review: Palm – Rock Island

By Hunter Bych, Contributor
[Carpark; 2018]
Rating: 7/10

Key Tracks: “Dog Milk”, “Theme From Rock Island”, “Swimmer”

Is it weird to describe an album as inverted? It could describe Palm’s second LP, Rock Island. The math-rock group’s intention for this album is to not only be unique, but un-replicable. They want this album to be something that could not be done completely live or fully reproduced by other bands. It fits that description well and could be something experimental that every indie or art rock listener would lap up. Though much like art, some people will just not get it.

The album’s opening track, “Pearly”, fits the inverted description well, sounding like it was flipped inside out to create some strange tune that gives off an unnerving feeling. A better way to describe the album’s general sound is coastal island music but just off enough to put the listener at an unease. The odd chords and time frames are jolty and unexpected, making it like listening to a faulty music box; functioning, but in a limbo of uncertainty, like it will break. Listening to it multiple times makes you appreciate it more because unlike that music box, this album is not going to break anytime soon.

The tracks all are cohesive of the nature of the island theme. “Dog Milk”, the album’s first single, encompasses these feelings and themes quite well. “Theme From Rock Island” is a solid instrumental that should not be overlooked and fits the theme of the album very nicely. Other tracks are up to discretion. The blending of tracks can be a problem as with an album like this there are going to be some songs that can get on your nerves. All in all, if you are looking for something different to listen to, Rock Island can be recommended, though it does take a few listens to really appreciate it for what it offers.

Listen here:

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