Friday, April 19 2024

Decades ago, alternative rock surged into the mainstream and dominated the airwaves of MTV—a time when the channel actually showcased music. Bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam reigned over the music scene and festivals. Although it might seem like those days have faded into the past, the spirit of alternative rock and grunge persists, and ‘I Want It Back,’ Palm Trees In Moscow‘s latest single, serves as a poignant reminder, evoking a nostalgic journey back to the ’90s.

Written during the the pandemic, Baltimore, MD-based singer/songwriter Chris Frantz channels the collective sense of isolation and yearning for something lost into a powerful and intense anthem. ‘I Want It Back’ becomes a battle cry—the song serves as a poignant mirror to the complexities of modern existence. Navigating through the maze of societal pressures, you might lose touch with the passion and enthusiasm for the very essence that gives life its meaning.

Chris’ musical ability shines through in this composition, skilfully weaving together elements of a revered Led Zeppelin-inspired guitar riff in the intro and verses. His performance echoes the raw, impassioned vocal stylings reminiscent of grunge luminaries like Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell. However, ‘I Want It Back’ transcends mere homage; it’s a masterful fusion, seamlessly blending the gritty essence of ’90s alternative bands such as Alice in Chains, Failure, and Dinosaur Jr with the forward-looking sounds of the ’00s. The track not only encapsulates the essence of both eras but also maintains that signature alternative, shoegaze style that captured hearts in the early ’90s.

The chorus envelops with a wall of sound, boasting crunchy, fuzzy guitars and a grooving bass, yet allowing the emotion and heartfelt delivery in the vocals to shine through. Chris’ emotive performance and the song’s earnest lyrics convey a genuine vulnerability. A notable twist occurs a minute in—distorted guitars soften, drums cease—an instant of anticipation shattered by the chorus’s powerful return. This encapsulates the essence of grunge: unfiltered raw emotion. Listeners can sense the real pain and struggles conveyed through the speakers, and Palm Trees In Moscow achieves that same effect.

But the surprises don’t stop there. Palm Trees In Moscow refuse to rest on nostalgia alone. ‘I Want It Back’ captivates listeners with dynamic shifts, seamlessly transitioning from moments of pulsating energy to reflective interludes. After the second chorus, the drums and guitars propel the song into a higher gear, infusing it with brisk, punk rock vigour and a soaring guitar lead. An acoustic guitar briefly emerges, swiftly transforming back into the realm of heavy distortion—a fluctuation that sustains the song’s dynamism. These twists and turns showcase versatility and demonstrate an ability to navigate a variety of musical landscapes while keeping their grunge roots intact.

For those reared on the anthems of Generation X, ‘I Want It Back’ stands as a melodic time capsule—a potent reminder of head-banging memories and a journey reminiscent of the genre’s golden age. The impeccable production by Jordon Zadorozny (known for his work with Chris Cornell, Blinker the Star, Lindsey Buckingham), combined with Chris’ multifaceted musical prowess across vocals, guitars, and bass, ensures an immersive energetic and powerful experience. Dylan Grace’s skillful handling of drums and synths adds layers of depth, underscoring the resilience of alternative rock in a music landscape often dominated by other genres.

In essence, ‘I Want It Back’ is more than just a song; it’s a testament to the enduring relevance of alternative rock—a reminder that its heartbeat continues to echo loudly, defying the passage of time. It’s still very much alive, and ‘I Want It Back’ serves as irrefutable proof!

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Review

Summary

Palm Trees In Moscow’s ‘I Want It Back’ is a heartfelt tribute to the golden era of alternative rock. It captures the raw emotion and vibrant shifts of ’90s grunge while injecting a modern energy. The song underscores the genre’s lasting impact and proves its enduring relevance in today’s music scene.
85%
Grunge-Tastic

Rating

song quality
vocal performance
lyrics
instrumentation
production
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About Author

Gee Nelson

Gee Nelson has been a musician, producer and songwriter since the '90’s. Besides music Gee loves reading, writing, watching British sitcoms and playing board games. His biggest influences are Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring and Eels. His favourite genre is 90’s and early 00’s (indie) rock.

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