Step Brother

Red Riders were responsible for a couple of pretty unremarkable records a few years back, but not to be perturbed, Al Grigg has moved on to brighter pastures. His third band in almost as many years, Palms is a throw back to all that is good about slacker indie.

Step Brothers started off as a fairly lo fidelity effort recorded in the kitchen of Palms’ friend, Owen Penglis, who was promptly paid with food of either kebabs or Vietnamese. The recordings outshine their budget by a considerable margin. The loose acoustic opener, In The Morning, is very much the calm before the storm as Grigg puts on an affected drawl that is like Westerberg before he discovered the evil old brew.

The sedate nature subsides with a cacophony of guitars and vocals as Grigg screams through Love without detracting from its instant hook. Palms dine from the influence of recent American guitar bands from Weezer to The Strokes to forge their tunes, without being a parody or pastiche. There is ample energy and sing along qualities for Palms to stand on their own feet.

Palms pack a full blown melodic punch with ample character and guitar crunch to make Step Brothers an edgy delight that pulls you back for repeated listens again and again.