Gooch Palms are all about dichotomy. Two homes: Necastle, Australia and Los Angeles. The band is made up of one man, Leroy, and one woman, Kat. Punk and pop dominate their sound. Their latest album, Introverted Extroverts, is an oxymoronic duality of sorts.
But anyone who’s even glimpsed Gooch Palms knows they’re too multifaceted to simply be divided in halves. The band is kooky. Leroy wears a lot of midriff shirts, dons a sharp mullet, and often plays completely nude. Kat has bright hair, dresses in clashing prints, thrashes on stage. Their promo photos are silly, fun. Their videos are slapstick. Introverted Extroverts exudes this colorful energy—the burlesque, the charming and captivating Devo-esque bizarre qualities. Gooch Palms sparkle and entertain—they are that shiny distraction. Make no mistake, though, they are no superficial gimmick.
The album is solid. An array of obvious—and super eclectic!—influences thread the playlist, but their sound remains fresh and their own. Some songs sound like campy films from the 60’s—you know, the beach frolics, the fringe skirts and teased hair. “Trackside Daze” floats between the most saccharine teen pop of yesteryear and snarliest rock and roll. “Invisible Man” evokes the classic crooner, in the way Lux Interior did with the Cramps. Innovative nostalgia belongs to the Gooch Palms’ latest album, the first track on Introverted Extroverts being “Living Room Bop.” Gooch Palms sing, “Just dance.” Done.
Other songs echo punk rock, or that little sliver of musical history where punk was a little more matured, a little more art school: the beautiful era of post-punk and new wave. Gooch Palms clearly are fans of these genres. “Long Gone” sounds reminiscent of Bauhaus, of seedy clubs with painted black walls. “Ask Me Why” continues the tradition. “Tiny Insight” is lighter punk, coming complete with quintessential “whoas.” “If You Want It,” recalls the best in dual-gendered punk—the zenith being other famed Los Angelenos, X.
On social media, Gooch Palms call themselves “Shit Pop”. A grittier brand of bubblegum. It’s a fitting label, because beneath their audacious pogo-inducing notes are pop fibers. “G.P.B.N.O” and “Eat up Ya Beans” are straight classic punk, but there’s still that friendly cadence that’s pure pop. “Sleep Disorder” and “Standing in Line” fuse raunchy and raw harmonies with a pleasing beat of synchronized male and female vocals.
Gooch Palms deliver on the individuality, on the nod to punk tradition, the rehashing of crooning and bebop, on the danceability. There isn’t a bad song on this album, which is an anomaly even for the best artists and the most genius, iconic pressings. Introverted Extroverts closes with a song you’ll sway to: “Wasting No Time.” No time wasted listening to this. Promise.