Rock Island

Palm - Rock Island
Critic Score
Based on 6 reviews
2018 Ratings: #514 / 673
User Score
Based on 78 ratings
2018 Ratings: #518
February 9, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Carpark / Label
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Palm exercise their fair share of self-awareness on Rock Island, avoiding the trappings of a style oft labelled pretentious or indulgent by balancing the scales with the weight of actual, tangible melody, ripe for singalongs and awkward feet-shuffling.

With Palm's latest, summer has come early in the form of refreshingly idiosyncratic pop music. Necessity might be the mother of invention, and their lack of training certainly gives their music a wonderfully eccentric slant, but that's just as likely due to their restless imaginations as it is circumstance.
Tiny Mix Tapes

Rock Island is a work of vitiated beauty and entrancing disaffection. Disquieting but somehow quite familiar, the record contorts the warm sounds of yacht rock and island music into something primal yet alien. The end result is a sound that you’d swear has been done countless times before in the avant-rock pantheon, but in reality, its direct musical forebears are few and far between.

Northern Transmissions
On their latest release, Philadelphia’s most off-kilter art-rockers let loose such a rhythm and percussion-fueled record that melody often feels second fiddle. Though sticking to their guns on style is certainly a nice change of pace, the album will certainly be a testing listen due to its heavy doses of repetition and clashing tones.
For all their innovation, the piecemeal quality of Palm’s music never lets it cohere into something uniquely their own.
No Ripcord

Palm do stand out from their contemporaries on Rock Island, especially since they equally embrace and rile against indie rock as a conservative movement. Their nonconformist aesthetic is imbued with an independent spirit, even if the sources they pull from prevents them from really taking off.

I went into “Rock Island” actively hoping to enjoy it. Sadly, though I’m convinced Palm have the ability to churn out a great psychedelic pop record, “Rock Island” isn’t it. Truly, the downfall is the incessant repetition. Perhaps this a math rock genre convention with which I’m not familiar, but to me, it’s badly holding them back. Moments of infectious melody pop up occasionally, making it that much more frustrating when Palm are all too content ... read more
+5 points for bread appreciation
On my first listen to this album I was quickly put off by the loud, repetitive instrumentation. The psychedelic math rock approach was not an easy listen, but I was quick to find enjoyment in each tracks melodic undertones. I kept returning to this album on a daily basis, finding similarities to some of my favourite artists such as Animal Collective and even The Beach Boys. Rock Island is by no means an album to be enjoyed by everyone, but if you go into this with patience and let the music ... read more
I don't know wtf this is but it's cool

Best Tracks:Pearly,Forced Hand,Theme From Rock Island,Bread,Heavy Lifting
Worst Tracks:Swimmer,20664
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Track List

  1. Pearly
  2. Composite
  3. Dog Milk
  4. Forced Hand
  5. Theme From Rock Island
  6. Bread
  7. Color Code
  8. Swimmer
  9. Heavy Lifting
  10. 20664
  11. (Didn't What You Want) Happen
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Added on: November 1, 2017