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Burning Palms

Witch rock from the Arizona desert at Leo's.

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Arizona-based rock band Burning Palms’ self-titled debut album is a dense record that pulsates with thunderous drumbeats, reverb-heavy guitar licks, and screeching distortion that render its surf and country roots almost unrecognizable. Singers Julia Deconcini and Simone Stopford harmonize with a howling intensity that conjures images of tearing along the open highway at night. A dark aesthetic accompanies Burning Palms’ brooding sound: Its video for “Thorns,” one of the album’s singles, is a stop-motion animation in which snakes, beetles, and hair braids crawl over Deconcini and Stopford’s naked bodies as mysterious, geometric symbols go in and out of focus. The song’s rhythmic, repetitive structure and drawn-out, husky vocals make it sound like a hypnotizing hymn — which seems apt, as the band labels itself “witch rock.” As part of its current North American tour, Burning Palms plays at Leo’s on October 5 with Babewatch and the Peels.

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