Palm Fronds

The Double

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Palm Fronds Review

by Jason Nickey

Sometime after the release of their debut LP and Palm Fronds, the Double began drinking from the same mercury-tainted well as Animal Collective and Black Dice. Replacing the bluesy math rock (if that's possible) of Loose Crochet is a heavily corroded singer/songwriter album, bathed in echo and acid, and carried along by left for dead samplers and drum machines. The change in direction is due in part to the addition of two new members; Donald Beaman and Jacob Morris joined the core duo of drummer Jeff McLeod and guitarist David Greenhill after the release of Loose Crochet. But the biggest reason for the change might be due to an accident. Just before the band was set to record their second LP, McLeod hurt is hand so badly that he could not play drums. But instead of postponing the sessions, the band decided to go forward using electronics instead of live drums. And, remarkably, it worked. Palm Fronds sounds nothing like a band playing with a handicap. Rather, the drum machines and other gadgets fit perfectly and naturally into the songs. It never sounds like a compromise. The songs sound fully as if this is the way they are supposed to sound. Obviously the band rethought their entire approach to music making and allowed for the new sounds to become an organic and necessary part of their working methods. As a result, Palm Fronds sounds something like Smog produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry and remixed by Fennesz or Pole.

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