Only Lauren K. Newman, aka prolific Portland drummer LKN, could be, alongside partner and guitarist, Terrica Kleinknecht, behind Palo Verde. Initiated as a guitar-drum duo in 2006, Palo Verde has been rolling out “spontaneous compositions” that largely feel so confident and tight, it’s hard to imagine the songs go unrehearsed. In fact, the two women’s musical chemistry has been called downright telepathic. Live, they are unrelenting, propelling metal kicked in a little sludge and doomy math rock and engorged with psych rock guitar and mesmerizing distortions. This, harnessed by the vast and brutal palpitations from Newman, makes for a profound, raw, and unpredictable show not to be missed. The album delivers a more meditative tangent. Hour Zero is a mere four tracks but endures for 45 minutes. It’s something to get lost in, and feels a lot like walking straight into a desert in the middle of the night without a light.
Listen to this: Live on a rainy night in a small, packed-in house show.
— Anika Sabin