Palmerston is a small satellite of the city of Darwin, Australia; full of bogans and gangs like the Palmerston Out Laws and the Cas Boys. Palmerston is a refuge for underage kids looking to get high or drunk on cheap beer, running wild in the night.
Three of the members of Melbourne's Palmerslum grew up in Darwin. Their self-titled debut EP Palmerslum is an attempt to sum up the sound, and the feeling, of this Twilight Zone, by making, in their own words "mosh music that is fun."
I'd say they succeeded admirably with this too-short, four-track EP. Always leave 'em wanting more! Things kick off with the weird, grinding, syrupy "Sunday Heads," which sounds like a bad hangover laced with some LSD tracers, until the quickstart drums, leaden riffs and barked vocals kick in. This is like The Butthole Surfers playing Wire or Fugazi - stripped down, but teeming with sci-fi half-life in the peripheries. The band attains their good time goals during the fade-out, as the song raves and rages like a stormy sea, without ever breaking down into cartoonish aggression. It's friendly, good time circle pit music, just like they'd hoped. "Sunday Head" reveals that Palmerslum knows what they're doing, sounding tight and rehearsed, so this is no mere hedonism. Palmerslum have put in the work, and it shows.
"Doomer" is a particularly satisfying crushing stoner groove, for the Black Sabbath worshippers out there. The guitar sounds much heavier and less washed out than Tony Iommi's - there's no break in this cloud. It's more of a basalt monolith than an overcast day. The final two tracks are more of a glammy, good-time rock n’ roll vibe, along the lines of Power Poppers like Weezer, Big Star, R.E.M., Buddy Holly, with their go-go beats and Enchantment Under The Sea guitars.
For everyone who worships rock n’ roll, who chooses to celebrate Saturday Night rather than Sunday Morning, there'll be something for you in this short slab of awesomeness! Palmerslum are coming out swinging.
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