Palms, where a Deftone meets Isis

By the time Palms plays the first of their tour dates in San Diego, their delayed self-titled CD will finally have been released. Palms is one-fifth Deftones and three-fifths Isis, an L.A.-based quartet consisting of Aaron Harris, Clifford Meyer, Jeff Caxide, and Chino Moreno, the Deftones’ outspoken, trash-mouthed stage diver with the arena-sized attitude. The dude’s an absolute tool unless you’re a Deftones fan (I am and have been for the 25 years or so of that band’s existence), but Moreno brings no such attitude to Palms. This may not be a bad thing. Palms is alt-metal meets doom-metal, genetically, but the result is closer to heavy pop music. Imagine a sedated Trent Reznor or a project band that is very in touch with their inner “#9 Dream” post-Beatles John-and-Yoko and you have an idea of the manner of atmospheric corner that Palms has written itself into. Atmospheric but with cartoonish lyrics: “There’s a hole in space where the demons wait.” And so on...

Deftones fans are likely going to love this band, but I’ll be curious to hear what the fans of Isis (a much harder and darker band in their day) might think. Not to be confused with an Arizona-based band of the same name, Palms is probably destined to find a higher place on the music-industry shelf than did Isis but is surely not the better band. Then again, isn’t that the way of all super-groups whose members did their best work elsewhere? I don’t think this project has got long-distance legs, so enjoy it while it lasts. I see the Palms experience as temporary creative tension release.

Crypts and Sleep Lady also perform.

Palms: Belly Up, Wednesday, July 10, 8:30 p.m. 858-481-8140. $18 advance/$20 day of show

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