In Gas Van Sant’s film My Own Private Idaho, River Phoenix’s troubled character is plagued with narcolepsy, a disease that causes him to enter a deep slumber at the drop of a hat. On the Palms EP Idaho, a duo from California, captures the same nocturnal lethargy, harnessing it through crawling, hesitant rhythms, stark arrangements and the kind of brain numbing, depressing melodies for which American Music Club has become revered.
But this isn’t music to slit your wrists or deep-throat a shotgun to, Idaho lets a mid-‘80s. punk feel seep into the slow-rock soundscapes, creating & modestly invigorating undercurrent that keeps things from becoming too despondent or bleak. Though Palms’ four songs aren’t as striking or fully realized as the fare on any AMC or Dream Syndicate record or the better output from Codeine, Idaho definitely knows the difference between writing a song and songwriting (most apparent on the snail paced “Gone”). The duo’s debut full-length, Year To Year, is due later this fall and...uh…it…it..zzzz.
Eric T. Miller