Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Album Review: Fake Palms - Lemons

Michael le Riche's latest album with his project Fake Palms is titled Lemons. If you've ever had a bad day, bad week, or a year that wasn't your year, it's probably not hard to guess why. Spiritually and sonically inspired by sweaty, snotty and incorrigible punk records from the '70s, it's a no-shit rock record with a flare for the prophetic and dramatic. While the hooks rollick and heel-kick in the fashion of an Undertones single, there isn't any escaping the sour notes that the album is steeped in or avoiding getting tangled up in its twisty, inverted guitar work. Michael maintains a peculiar breathy poise throughout the album, divulging lyrics that wax on the weight of obsession, compulsion, and the manicules of human desire in a calm, conversation shout that is mature and sober in the face of the steady tension exerted by the off-axis wheeling of broad but agile grooves. I'm struck by the nearness with which some of the chords here come to overlying with the drab and ruminating etchings of Preoccupations, or the dark mystery of their earlier incarnation, which shall not be named, and further, how these dreary dream riffs are methodically messaged open to expose their sweet interiors. Most of all, I'm impressed with the exuberance of Lemons, in the same way, I was stunned and drawn in when I first heard the bold jangle and wry carousing restraint of Parquet Courts- it feels like a fresh start, a kind of clean break that is still somehow familiar and contiguous of its antecedents. It's a record that rises from a place that clearly knows an acute kind of sadness but which nonetheless possesses a powerful optimism. Such is the nature of human beings. When life bears bitter fruit, replenish your spirit by turning them into a satisfying rock record for all to enjoy. 

 Freshly squeezed by Hand Drawn Dracula.