Friday, June 21, 2013

Stoned Oranges.

Fans can be odd. I mean taken objectively, the way a punk fan can behave at a show might seem very strange- yelling obscenities at the band, running around in a circle, jumping up and down, and so forth. However, the behaviour that strikes me as oddest is the "invisible oranges" hand gesture when screaming lyrics back at the band that certain metalheads do.  That's just me, and maybe you find it completely natural.
That kind of behaviour seems to happen when you have a formerly Metal band go soft. Trying to imbue the music with drama, those hands go up, grasping and clutching at that imaginary fruit. I can see how, if faced with that prospect, you might do what Pelican, ISIS, and Neurosis have done- nearly or completely dispense with vocals. So, why did Isis team up with Chino Moreno? My personal theory is that, in Deftones, Chino never resorted to the cheap theatrics of invisible oranges.
Likewise, this new LP by Palms eschews the drama. People call the music that Kyuss did, or that Clutch do "Stoner" but there's too much action, too much volition for me to associate that music with being stoned. I think the appropriate music for being stoned to be far more static, and hazy- like the more mellow moments of Deftones, Jesu, and ISIS. You know? Where the music just seems to float, with no forward momentum?
Add a little more pop song structure, and you're there- that's what Palms sounds like. They abide. In other words, whether drugs were involved or not, they sound Hiiiii-IIIII-iiiigh to me. Not just buzzed- oh no, they sound like they are at cruising altitude. Which isn't a criticism- but I'm more of a beer guy. If I'm going to intoxicate myself, I'd prefer a decent beer buzz to being stoned. When drinking beer, I feel expansive, but energetic. I want action, but no drama. Meanwhile, stoners seem to not even want action. Which is fair enough, but ISIS put me to sleep. Again, I enjoyed that, and I enjoy this record. But, I have a hard time coming up with scenarios in which it will fit my life. About the only thing I can come up with, right now, is drifting off to sleep. If I were a stoner, though, I can tell you, easily- this is perfect for being so high that doing nothing is really something. If hands are upraised, it's to reach for the pipe, not to theatrically pick fruit.
Oceanic, Shoegazer, post-rock- I bet all these terms, and more will get tossed at this record, but, I'm going to call it Stoner.

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