Canadian upstarts Century Palm have risen from the ranks of several long ranging RSTB faves (Ketamines, Dirty Beaches, Tough Age) to form a formidable force in the realm of nervy punk. The band mines some gems of the bygone era of New Wave dominance. There are definite touches of Gary Numan, The Fall and The Cure and they pin them to bits of Neu-laden Krautrock for a shimmering, writhing record that cherry picks the past with expert glee. The band are at their best when they let the nerviness seep in to knee level, jerking start-stop vocals like Devo acolytes or breaking down into their best Mark E. Smith caustic accusations. They pad those outburst with buzzing syths and the aforementioned hunger for German rhythm that juxtaposes time periods nicely, elevating their record nerd status at least a level or two.
Lyrics reach out in pleading, sweating layers of despair; grappling with life’s hypocrisies and injustices. The negativity envelops completely on some songs, like the frantic centerpiece “Sick Of It” or the bristling “Trapped Here.” True, there have been stabs at both of the domineering forces that permeate Meet You but Century Palm mixes a buzzing prog hangover with burgeoning punk so well it sounds like a record chucked out of time and found on the private press pile. They feel somehow fresh in their hunger for the past. Everyone’s favorite Aussie sheen man Mikey Young gives the record a once over in the mastering dept and that’s never a bad thing. These guys have paid far too many dues, but with Meet You it feels like something’s clicking all around. An absolutely engrossing listen that just keeps giving with repeated trips to the turntable.
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