Geoff Palmer - Pulling Out All The Stops (Cover Artwork)

Geoff Palmer

Pulling Out All The Stops (2019)

Stardumb Records, Rum Bar Reco

Though this is his first solo LP (sort of), Geoff Palmer is not new to the punk rock scene. Over the years, he’s played in The Queers, The Nobodys, and a few other punk bands. Pulling Out All The Stops is clearly influenced by various Lookout! bands, Ramonescore, as well as early rock ‘n’ roll. Fans of this style of punk rock will definitely love this album. It is packed with hooks, clever lyrics, and great songwriting.

Overall, there’s a pretty steady tempo throughout, but the record never gets boring. There are definitely some stand out tracks, but every song is catchy making for a very cohesive flow. The opener, “This One’s Gonna Be Hot”, is one of the standouts. It’s a chorus-as-a-verse type song (if that is such a thing) where the instruments enhance the vocal progressions. Because of this formula, many of the other tunes are just as catchy, partially because the album is packed with Beach Boy-esque harmonies. “Giving In”, “We Can’t Do It”, and “Everything Is Cool” are some great examples of this.

The songs are steeped in the dawn of rock with Chuck Berry riffs, blues progressions, and ‘50s type lyrics scattered throughout. And while most of the album sticks to a mix of ‘50s rock, surf rock, and Ramones worship, some of the tracks stray into a grungier, garage type of rock ‘n’ roll. This permeates in songs like “Got the Skinny” and “Donut”. And “Paper Heart” strays a little more from the cohesive sound of the record (though not too far) and has somewhat of a country feel to it.

The song topics are generally lighthearted. Sometimes the lyrics are purposely corny, like in “I Like Murder Too”, but they are a clever type of corny. Consequently, I’m not sure if this is a love song or a satire of modern life. “Velcro” may be about a washed up rock star and comically references gettin’ fat and old. And many times, like in “All The Hits”, the lyrics are a mixture of modern day vernacular and 1950s jargon. Despite the lighthearted approach, there are some serious or topical moments as well. “Walk Through” is a song about hope and working through tough times. While “Cha-Ching”, one of the catchiest songs on the record, is about the largest bank robbery in history.

This was my first taste of Geoff Palmer and I’m glad that this album fell into my lap. I’ve listened to it numerous times and it gets better each time. While the sound is somewhat familiar, the tunes are original and enhanced by solid songwriting and great musicianship by the band. It’s an album that I will probably come back to often.