on 12 September 2013
I grew up in the punk era and spent a lot of time jumping around at gigs trying to avoid the spit and flying chairs/bottles, but loving the energy of what I was listening to. When I heard 'Best of Frends', it took me right back to those days and I was really looking forward to this offering. Sadly, 180 is a bit under-cooked and, aside from 'Best of Friends' (anthemic, big choruses) and 'We found love', there isn't much to hold your attention.
That said, I've seen these guys live and they were awesome. If they are given a bit of time to work on their material and are not surrounded by too many sycophants, the PVs will become a great band. They just aren't there yet.
on 11 December 2013
I wanted to really like this. I'd bought the singles (e.g. Best of Friends) and felt sure from those, and reading all the positive press, that I knew what I was going to hear. Sadly I think that this band have been ill served by the music press who have massively hyped them before they are a fully formed entity. A touch of the 'king's new clothes'.
I was expecting some Vaccines-esqe post punk goodness. What I got though was several songs that felt like half finished sketches with someone shouting over them. To be fair these songs often feel like they have 'potential', good playing of the instruments, interesting melodies etc, but they often seem to ramble too (strange as most are actually quite short so should feel more 'pithy').
Worst of all is the 'hidden' 12th track (essentially part of the last real track) this dreadful ditty, which I assume is called 'New Song', is puerile at best and is an ill advised way to close any album - let alone one where you have been willing things to get better ... and they never quite do!
I have a feeling this will, quite soon, be a great band - and they are probably already enthralling live - however this first full album didn't really do it for me.
on 4 March 2013
I'm very much into my last few decades on Planet Earth and tend these days to prefer electronica such as Machinefabriek but on first hearing this band I immediately bought h album. Energetic, tuneful and sparky music, really makes that arthritic right knee of mine twitch like crazy! ( not being facetious here... Love the energy) . Going to play this all day long and it's far better than Uncut magazines dismal 6/10 review suggests. Look forward to more. Great to wake up Monday with a new band.
on 4 March 2013
Clash, Libertines, Vaccines, The View, all rolled into one band, cracking drums, great guitars, explosive vocals, catchy lyrics. They've nailed it, will take a great album to top this album in 2013.
Best Friend, is best song on album, however there is more great songs, Step up for the cool cats is brilliant. all the garden birds, rattlesnake highway, final track on album 14, 8 mins long with two songs in it is perfection. Buy it, get it on and turn it up.
on 1 March 2013
I had eagerly anticipated this album but can't help but feel a bit disappointed. There are some good songs on 180 to be sure, but despite ticking all the right boxes (garage rock - tick, psych - tick, raw indie rock - tick), too often the ideas seem unfocussed and the songs fail to properly take grip. In my opinion nothing on the album eclipses the lead single Best Of Friends. At the end of the day though, this is the bands 1st album and as they develop as artists (hopefully they'll be given time to) and get more used to the recording process there is enough on offer to suggest that they could turn out something special.
Interesting 1st effort but my advice is try before you buy. Oh and Clash fans don't buy it thinking you'll get something Clash like. The comparison to one of this country's finest ever bands totally bemuses me. 3/5
on 28 May 2013
I became interested in Palma Violets after seeing a video of the explosive single Best Of Friends being performed on Jools Holland, a great anthemic Indie song with huge, shouty singalong lyrics, and hearing the strange, slightly unconventional Last Of The Summer Wine, which spends most of it's playtime building itself up with it's long intro, only to end with an abrupt crescendo shortly after the song kicks in. I liked what I'd heard, and after seeing constant references to The Libertines, and reading about the band's DIY ethos, I thought that maybe there would be a guitar band to emerge that would take the UK by storm, finally, after the guitar scene's years in the post Arctic Monkeys wilderness offered little besides The Courteeners and The Vaccines.
Upon hearing their debut album 180, the sound of a new musical revolution is not the sound which comes to my ears. In the case of a number of the songs, the band sound like they're playing a decent riff they've thought up but then about halfway through playing, they aren't sure where they're going to go with it so they just go off on a tangent and improvise, hoping for the best. A lot of the songs don't have any "wow!" factor or hooks, they're just...there. There's also the factor of this hardly being something we haven't heard before: A Garage Rock type band that thrashes out a few simple chords.
That said, the album isn't the worst debut record to come out. We Found Love is a nice, melodic baggy-esque number with a good chorus and pleasant guitar parts. Chicken Dippers makes cool use of the slow-quiet/fast-loud dynamic and I can imagine it being a live favourite. You can feel the energy when you hear Johnny Bagga Donuts. I can also admire the stripped back, lo-fi production, which makes the album sound like you're listening to a live record, a refreshing change to all these Indie bands who have emerged the past couple of years, drenched in reverb and horribly overproduced. So the album isn't quite what I'd call a disappointment, and overall it is a solid record with it's moments of strength, just not an incredible, mindblowing one which makes me want to start a band and join in with the Palma Violets revolution.
To be fair to the Palma Violets, they're a group of young lads, aged about nineteen or twenty, who have only been in a band for a year or two. To write them off because their debut isn't as gripping or exciting as the British classics such as Definitely Maybe, The Stone Roses, Generation Terrorists, Up The Bracket or Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, which has happened to a few bands sadly, is ludicrous. Give them time, and who knows what may happen? They definitely sound like they have potential and the right ideas, and could end up becoming huge down the road. Best of luck to them, and I hope they keep on doing what they're doing!
on 26 March 2013
Palma Violets, the latest group inserted into the hype machine. When this happens my initial thought is, try your best to ignore all the press. I'm not a huge fan of the single "Best Of Friends" it's been paraded like the flagship song of the band. Probably because for awhile there was nothing else to listen to bar attending the much praised live shows.
That said the remaining tracks off this record are a lot less dependent on their choruses, the tunes are exciting and immediate, or slow and purposeful. Vintage keys, ragged vocals, timeless in sound, youthful in delivery. I believe the album enters the purple patch around "Rattlesnake Highway" and doesn't let off till its to late and realise you've been suckered into hearing out the hidden ditty nestled at the end.
What's clear is these guys have listened too and have been influenced by some great vintage rock n roll groups. Could be The Who, could be The Velvet Underground, probably both and more.
Fans of The Strokes, Vaccines and any hyped group of the last decade and a half will concur, that Palma Violets live up to expectations, what remains to be seen is whether they fall into the pitfalls of their predecessors on future efforts.
But you'll always have "180", lucky us.
on 12 March 2013
I'm going to ignore the hype angle, they maybe were overhyped but equally the criticism of overhyped bands can be ridiculously over the top (e.g. Wu Lyf).
Anyway the albums starts strongly with "Best of Friends" and "Step Up For The Cool Cats", neither song is particularly amazing but they are decent.
Unfortunately from there it didn't really kick on. Most of the songs were decent but none of them particularly stood out, leaving the bulk of the album as a pretty standard average indie music.
on 5 November 2013
there have been many album releases this year - both debuts and comebacks - but i'd say this one trumps them all. 180 is such a solid debut album for a really promising band. the songs are wonderfully mixed with many layers of simple instrumentation and every song is fun to sing along to. i can see this band being absolutely incredible at festivals because they have such a big sound and possess an immense energy that can't be faked.
on 4 December 2014
This is a descent album but not the best a lot of the songs sound the same and I found them a bit boring after a few listens and I do like my music. Bought this after a lot of recommendations but just not quite there for me. Better bands out there just now