Rock Island
Palm - Rock Island
Critic Score
Based on 6 reviews
2018 Ratings: #53 / 71
User Score
Based on 42 ratings
2018 Ratings: #41
Your Review



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.

Feb 16, 2018
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
Feb 15, 2018
An album with no hooks, and just a terrible vibe. The only reason it's not lower is because they have musical talent. Favorite Song: (Didn't Want You Want) Happen
Feb 14, 2018
Palm have literally every element down pact that could make them THE new Exciting band to watch. Their performances are electric, they have tons of charisma, and their atmospheres are colorful. But with "Rock Island", they insist on going for incredibly repetitive, borderline tracks that are just so shallow. Sure, the rhythms are on point and their playing is usually fine, but there's no substance to way too much of this album. However, I do have to say there are some moments on ... read more
Feb 14, 2018
Favourite track: Bread
Feb 13, 2018
Mechanical and dizzying, it feels void of human touch in the warmest way possible.
Purchasing Rock Island from Amazon helps support Album of the Year.
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

Added on: November 1, 2017