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“I sort of need to care about wanting to play the song night after night to be able to draw from something to perform it all the time,” he says. “It needs to come from somewhere sort of real, or at least honest. And it’s also cathartic for me I guess, to like get these things off my chest or work through my thoughts.” Al explains that his writing process begins in a secluded and contemplative environment, fuelled by an organic drive. “Because when I start writing the song anyway I’m on my own in my room usually playing acoustic guitar, so even the more punk-ier songs or the more sort of energetic songs all start out just on acoustic guitar,” he says. “So it’s a very kind of, I guess isolated, personal, and probably kind of introspective sort of place a lot of the songs come from.”


Palms’ music is inherently instinctive. Every wail of the wah pedal and landing blow of a bulleting rhythm section is the product of an uplifting collaboration shared with close mates. “It’s like me going and I’m playing with my friends and you put the drumming behind everything and it lifts it up. I guess the music is this really joyous thing, an exciting thing and a happy thing,” he says. It’s a component of the new album that, as Al suggests, allows fans to connect with the music on different levels. So if you want to find the intensity and you want to have this sort of emotional response to the album then it’s there and you can find it, but if you just want to like tap your foot or sing along or jump around then you can do that as well. It’s all kind of there.”


For Crazy Rack Palms once again recorded with good friend Owen Penglis (Royal Headache, Straight Arrows), splitting time between Linear Studios for live tracking, and Owen’s basement studio where they pieced together overdubs, vocals and other bits and pieces. It’s the fervent energy of the band and Owen’s natural feel for production that has engrained these new tracks with a propulsive immediacy. “Owen is definitely a less is more kind of guy, so if you can take something away he will. Instead of having like a distortion pedal, let’s just drive the amp harder or just sort of keep everything very simple,” says Al. “If you let a band just sound like themselves you get a better chance of that band having something sounding idiosyncratic, you know like having something that another band’s not going to have.” 


Beyond the familiarity and conceptual clarity offered by Owen’s recording method, his impressive arsenal of quality vintage gear—everything from reverb units, to classic microphones and a hefty reel-to-reel eight track—helped shape the album’s sonic fabric. “Owen has this amp, it’s an old Australian brand called Golden Tone and he’s got an amp that sounds like, fucking magic. It’s all over our record, because Owen just did a bunch of stuff on the Royal Headache album, I’m pretty sure it got a run on that album too,” says Al. “Everyone that plays it is just blown away. I know when Ty Segall was in the country he played through it … he was just like, “oh my god man I’ve got to
get one of these amps.” They’re like an Australian ‘60s kind of thing and feel like people just totally fetishize [over them], and rightly so, they sound incredible.”


As Al gleefully recounts shooting the perpetually funny and good-natured clip for ‘Bad Apple’ at Sydney University, it’s easy to see how the band makes light of the day to day. Directed and produced by Brent Griffin (aka SPOD), it’s all wrapped up in humour. “So it was just sort of us foolin’ around and it was actually really fun and probably the easiest I’ve ever made, it was just like hang out with your friends do stupid tricks and Brent just followed us around with a GoPro,” he says. It’s the same sentiment behind Crazy Rack – it comes from a genuine place, both relatable and eclectic. “Because I wouldn’t want it to just be like vacuous… you know on the other hand too, who wants it to just be like this vacuous song of like just garage-y nothingness, where people are like, ok once they’ve kind of heard the chorus three or four times it’s over, you know there’s nothing more you can get from it,” he says. “It’s a funny balance I guess, in between the fun and also the depth.” 


Crazy Rock is out now via Ivy League Records. For more info, visit