Wild Palms - To the Lighthouse - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Wild Palms - To the Lighthouse

by Simon Sandison Rating:4 Release Date:2010-11-05

Deliberate or not, in making me recall William Faulkner's 1939 novel from which they appear to have lifted their name, Wild Palms had me expecting a great deal. I suppose literary references will do that, and I should know better because it is very rare that this kind of artistic promise is fulfilled. This double a-side - and there's admittedly a distinct thrill in referring to a single release like that - is fundamentally quite dull. The spark of creative intelligence that was misguidedly and optimistically expected is so thoroughly absent as to leave the resulting mediocrity seeming even worse than it probably is.

There's nothing explicitly wrong with either 'To the Lighthouse' or 'Draw in Light' except for a remarkable lack of innovation. The vocals wouldn't be out of place in a really below average copycat Britpop band from 15 years ago, and the riff in 'To the Lighthouse' is predictable and repetitive. If anything, the vocals get worse on 'Draw in Light', as they bounce between an insufferable mockney over-pronunciation and the same strained angst as we were treated to on the first song.

Lyrically, the tracks are of that asinine style that means absolutely nothing while being contrived to sound as deep as possible. There is no concealing the absolute inanity of "Ashes to ashes and dust to dust/ let it blow away in the wind/ get carried away on this wind." It is enough to leave the most pilled-up of trance fanatics scoffing at the shallowness of the sentiment. It says an awful lot that perhaps the most redeeming feature of the entire release is the drum solo that leads out of the otherwise hideous bridge on 'To the Lighthouse', but this is scant consolation from a single that just goes nowhere.

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