Review ·

Misra Records could be a gospel label. Hell, its has bands named Evangelicals, Hallelujah the Hills, and Summer Hymns. And religious moniker or not, most Misra bands worship at the altar of heart-on-sleeve sincerity. Too bad, then, that on its first album for Misra, Palomar isn't convincing enough to convert listeners.

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Nothing is really horrible on All Things, Forests, but nothing much stands out, either. The album is so much passion -- the vaulting harmonies of "You're Keeping Us Up," the searing guitars of "Beats Beat Nothing," the big dynamic shifts of "He Came to Stay -- without much direction. The lyrics are stuffed with too many hes and theys and its. In twelve tracks, I only found one reference to something concrete: the look of trees in Brooklyn, in "The Air Between Us." There's even a song called "Bridge of Sighs." Sigh.

 

When Palomar tries to fun things up a bit, the results aren't impressive. The jauntier "Top Banana," bouncing along on buoyant handclaps, comes of as second-rate Slumber Party. And Slumber Party is already second-rate Le Tigre.

 

But with this many jabs at emotion, some do land. "How to Beat Dementia" makes good on its intriguing title as a contemplation on aging with dignity. And on closer "Alone," it does strike a nerve when the band is at full throat singing "With all our complications/ We make them/ But we hate them."

 

On "Surprise Us," vocalist Rachel Warren claims, "We hate the fact that we care." Then don't, dear. Lighten up next time.

 

***

Band: http://www.palomartheband.com/

Label: http://www.misrarecords.com/ 

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/palomar

  • Bury Me Closer
  • Our Haunt
  • How To Beat Dementia
  • The Air Between Us
  • You're Keep Us Up
  • Beats Beat Nothing
  • He Came To Stay
  • Bridge Of Sights
  • Top Banana
  • Woah!
  • Surprise Us
  • Alone
Handsome Furs - Plague Park Lewis & Clarke Blasts of Holy Birth

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