Nostalgic five-piece Burning Palms hypnotizes at Beauty Bar
Lolipop Records’ self-proclaimed witch-rockers Burning Palms kicked off their West Coast tour at Beauty Bar on June 13, opening for Cutty Flam and rockabilly locals The Delta Bombers.
Despite being a last-minute add-on, the Arizona five-piece hypnotized the crowd with its heavy, spiraling layers—guitars with caked-on reverb, brooding percussion and rich psychedelic pop hooks. No stranger to nostalgia (hear: “Young Hunter”), the Burning Palms’ nod to ‘60s-era pop was delicately buried among gloomy chords, maniacal guitar solos and dangerous, pulsating marches.
A dynamic pair, Simone Stopford and Julia DeConcini delivered hauntingly beautiful harmonies throughout the set while Stopford cruised on rhythm guitar and DeConcini danced between floor toms, maracas and tambourine. Other cuts were purposefully wicked—tiptoeing the threshold of punky ghoul-rock a la Misfits and the seductive whimsy of Warpaint. In fact, Burning Palms harness a similar, coveted tone that Exquisite Corpse-era Warpaint once had and has failed to find since.
“Prom punk” band Cutty Flam describes themselves as the “sound track to a 1950’s B-movie starring Ritchie Valens opposite Betty Page directed by Quentin Tarantino”—a roughly accurate description. Cutty Flam’s Sha Na Na-like repertoire is full of chopped-up songs that begin with fast, pop-punk drumbeats followed by slowed-down, silly choruses. A satire in and of itself, the band never takes the music too seriously but delivers on the fun. If the Beauty Bar was a school gymnasium, Cutty Flam would be the group of nerdy pranksters known for spiking the punch and mooning the cameras.
Locals The Delta Bombers drew the largest crowd of the night—a retrofitted bunch with vintage duds and greased-back hairdos. And even though the band was probably suffering from jet lag (they were in Australia the day before), they delivered a super-charged, bluesy set that kept fans dancing long after 1 a.m.