Noisy Beach Bums Warped by the Warmth of the Sun


The varied swath of music categorized as noise tends to bank on its ties to the sublime: the ability to induce bewilderment, stupefaction, and awe that traverses fear. But for the Brooklyn-based foursome the Double, noise—metallic clacks and supersonic crackles, crumpling guitars and disappearing vocals—is an accessory that sweetly disorders melody, a union that entreats and welcomes rather than confuses and commandeers. The gentle wonder of Palm Fronds is not without its own mystifying pull: “A Throw of Distance” rides out on birdy tweets suggesting computerized mating calls; the notes of “Standing on a Levee” sound as if they’re being sucked into a mosquito light one by one; “Firecrackers in Sawdust” warps the distinction between verse-chorus-verse and amorphous cacophony like a vinyl copy of Pet Sounds left out in the sun. Yet the narratives of beaches, bathtubs, and other joyful stuff spiraling in and out of the multiphonic terrain make the Double’s magnetism friendly, almost childlike. Rather than bully, Palm Fronds is an album that begs you to come out and play.