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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Palomar
Palomar III Revenge of Palomar
Self Starter Foundation

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
When I hear Palomar, I picture the group as a Saturday Morning Cartoon. The group members are the stars of a show, and they solve mysteries and uncover truths using the power of music and optimism. Throughout dealing with the muck, filth and general bad vibes of the crime underworld, the entourage never loses its pluck. Ever single episode ends with the group performing at some club while milk shakes and cherry cokes are served liberally and enjoyed by everyone.

Perhaps you get the wrong impression, though. Although the TV plot strikes similar to everything from Josie and the Pussycats to Scooby Doo, the show would not be some overly cheesy venture. Palomar, you see, is not a cheesy or corny band: its music is usually upbeat and energetic, but it often adds a touch of the bittersweet to keep all that in check. It's the thinking man or woman's power pop, with a good dose of sugar, but not too much.

Hailing from Brooklyn, the group is a polar opposite to the prototypical 21st century hipster collective. There's none of that dance-y 80's throwback mentality that clogs the clubs. Palomar's brand of rock music is more wholesome that gloomy - and that makes it much more sincere than any type of synth rock posturing could hope to be.

Palomar creates indie pop using an assault of harmonizing female vocals. Comparisons to a group like Dressy Bessy, the Darling Buds and even some late 90's female twee groups seem easy, but the group has versatility to set it apart. On its third full length album, the band shows it is equally skilled at writing a reflective and wistful song like the opener, "The Planeiac" and throwing it alongside the bouncy "Albacore".

Songs like the awesome "Knitting For Pleasure" approach the threshold for sugar overload, but this barrier is never breached on the disc. Therefore, instead of throwing out the words like "cutesy," "peppy" is much more appropriate and telling.

So call them cute, peppy, animated - whatever - they probably get it all the time. Just know that somewhere, there is restraint that prevents the group from becoming teeth rotting fluff. They also pay strict attention to writing really good songs; these qualities are more important and more endearing than just simply an upbeat tempo and cute aesthetics.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams

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