Includes a bonus DVD, That Little Fucking Thing Over There; a film about Chingalera!
In the Shadow of the Black Palm Tree is a deranged, thunderous slab of sludge-like boogie rock, and a damn near perfect one at that. The Melvins will be the obvious reference for most, but I think Chingalera's got more in common with Porn (The Men of). Those who've heard Experiments in Feedback or Wine, Women, and Song will feel right at home in this tar pit of distortion. Overall, the songs may be lengthy, but they're all free of any fat. It's just thick grooves and no fucking around.
I really like the guitar tone on this album. Even though it seems like they use a lot of effects, it still sounds somewhat dirty/sludgy/raw. Even though this type of avant-garde riffing isn't my usual cup of tea (I only own two Melvins albums), I'm enjoying this album quite a bit. There's a distinct lack of random string-plucking and strange noises that similar bands sometimes indulge in, and even though a couple of the songs are more or less the same riff repeated for six or seven minutes through different sonic textures, the dark, edgy feel of the riffs themselves keep them from being boring. The vocals are mostly a collection of hoarse shouting, but "Occidental Apology"--the most vocal-heavy song--is a high point on the album for me.