Palma Violets - 180 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Palma Violets - 180

by Greg Spencer Rating:5 Release Date:2013-02-25

Palma Violets are already adored by the likes of NME. They've got that Libertines-esque, youthful exuberance, they're great live, and they're unique enough to set them apart from the usual indie fodder. 180 has plenty of moments, a bunch of interesting and accessible elements which are all bundled into 40 minutes worth of goodness, but if there's a cohesive record here remains to be discovered.

We kick off with the lead-single from the album, 'Best of Friends', which is a mini-riotous and unsteady indie number. Unlike plenty of indie bands out there, it does have bite and intensity, and it's hard to grasp whether this is due to the unconventional nature of the band's tone, the bad quality recording, or the wailing vocals of front-duo Sam Fryer and Chilli Jesson. Whatever it is, it feels like it works for the most part.

Track two, unfortunately, feels tired and wishy-washy compared to its predecessor. It just doesn't have the same energy or vitality. This almost sums the album up. There are great moments - see 'Rattlesnake Highway' and 'Last of the Summer Wine', which has a genuinely playful and emotive sound. However, there are too many mis-steps, such as 'Chicken Dippers' and 'Tom the Drum', songs which should have stayed in the recording studio and locked out of sight.

Therein lies the problem with 180; it's an album you'll be desperate to like in order to fit in with the hipsters who'll already know the words, but for the most part it leaves you empty. It's comparable to watching an episode of Heartbeat: There isn't much unpredictability after the first 15 minutes, once you've settled in your armchair. It can't even really be saved much by the final gambit, an eight minute number which changes pace, and desperately tries to instill some excitement, but even this follows the same mediocre pattern as the previous 10 tracks.

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