Palma Violets
180


2.0
poor

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
March 3rd, 2013 | 40 replies


Release Date: 02/25/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They'll be your best friends, but will we?

In the absence of a search for the Holy Grail, the music press (at least the shady, ghetto-ised, bribe-ridden section thereof) continually try and chase down the ever-elusive yet somehow-always-there shadow of the Next Big Thing™. Given that the UK has created a semi-ironic genre of its own dubbed ‘landfill indie’, it’s no surprise when any group of four lads (it’s always lads) with stupid haircuts, a load of stolen ideas and jeans so tight they could give you haematuria is handed that week’s crown of thorns. Since The Libertines kicked off the first real post-millennial surge of greasy guitar bands we’ve been force-fed some outrageously bad groups who are built up quickly and taken apart slowly; The Kooks, Pigeon Detectives, The Others, The Futureheads and so on and so on and so on. Even Franz Ferdinand survived the first wave of scepticism before being buried later on. I literally don’t know if all of the band’s members are still alive.

…and so here we are! A new lamb to the slaughter. Step forward, Palma Violets (PV); named after that foul bit of confectionary and perhaps equally as divisive. Formed in Lambeth, London (a pre-requisite to being talked about in the British music press, fact fans) and hardened warriors of something like three gigs, they were suddenly propelled to the top of the bill in all regards with no rhyme or reason. Suddenly, THIS is the soundtrack to your life. The rapid ascension of PV is a stark reminder of how blatantly hypocritical the vast majority of mainstream music journalism can be. Constantly bemoaning a lack of longevity, the press actively campaigns against piracy, against venue closures, for the proliferation of readily available and affordable independent music. It then changes mood like a schizophrenic, lashing out against bands barely out of short trousers for not delivering the goods immediately. Next, it rails against how the internet is creating too much music with no quality control. Indeed, the NME’s review (here we go!) states that 180 is “not in the spirit of ‘show us how good you are’, but ‘prove to us how *** you’re not’.” Excuse me? What kind of message does that send out to musicians, young or old, looking to make a bit of headway? It’s like trying to impress a constantly disappointed retired Army Major father despite the fact he is never actually at home.

But let’s talk about the reason we’re (allegedy) here: the music. Does it justify the hype? Of course not. It never would have anyway. As it stands, 180 isn’t actually that a good of an album in its own right. Opening track “Best Of Friends”, the one that flicked the switch on the hype machine, is a fun and boisterous effort that ticks all of the boxes; expansive sing-a-long chorus, propulsive bass line and a catch-all message that should get all the drunken gig goers singing and hugging. In fact, it’s such a successful formula that they decide to repeat it almost note-for-note on “Last Of The Summer Wine”, “Step Up For The Cool Cats” and then offer dull variations on the mix again throughout the rest of the album. Each song sounds terribly similar to each of the others and the muddied production is a testament to blandness and boredom.

So, there you have it; young lads just starting out make poor-to-average debut record. Not an unusual occurrence, and no doubt a thousand other albums released that day were no better or worse than 180. Still, they’ll go on tour, have a laugh, take some drugs and get their dicks sucked by some Camden slags. Make the most of it, boys, lest your head be caught in the vice marked “backlash.”



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user ratings (27)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
Wanderlustforlife (4.5)
Melodic addiction that is sure to "Be your best friend"....


Comments:Add a Comment 
fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 3rd 2013


22014 Comments


so is this nme-core then

Digging: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib - Pinata

JViney
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2013


322 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Until they get tired of it, yes.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2013


15743 Comments


hahaha i love this review viney

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 3rd 2013


7363 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Agree 100% This is utter rubbish. They try so desperately to convey this whole 'heroically shambolic' shtick but it does nothing whatsoever to hide how poor their songs are.

Even by the NME's standards the overhype surrounding these guys has been laughable. I'm surprised you didn't mention they made Best Of Friends their track of the year, there were some great quotes in that article.

I actually checked these guys out at a festival last summer having never listened to them before, just to see what all the hype was about. To say it fell short of the promised life-changing experience would only be a slight understatement.

I love reading your reviews but this might be my favourite yet. From the stupid haircuts to the Camden slags, it completely hits the nail on the head.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 3rd 2013


22014 Comments


Haha hadn't even got to the bit about NME when I posted that comment

InfamousGrouse
March 3rd 2013


3539 Comments


"hardened warriors of something like three gigs"

i love this review

DanielNightLewis
March 3rd 2013


552 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Totally agree with this review and it should be commended for working in the word "haematuria ".

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2013


2005 Comments


Now, this is a review.

Digging: Thank You Scientist - Maps of Non-Existent Places

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2013


10499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yo the futureheads, especially their first album, rule

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

JViney
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


322 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks for the kinds words, people. This record and the crap surrounding it just got on my nerves.

Klap: ehh, I dunno. Bit too fey and knowing for my tastes. People who say they're quirky are usually the most boring ones.

tommygun
March 4th 2013


24989 Comments


really enjoyable read this

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013


6487 Comments


Hilarious piece, love it.

The Kooks' first was a great pop album though. And I'm actually looking forward to a new Franz Ferdinand album (they're the band that got me into music, after all). Agree that the others are rubbish.

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

DrGunther
March 4th 2013


184 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haha, great review... Was wondering when the NME were going to get mentioned.

I can't believe I still waste my time listening to stuff like this, two listens was way too much of my time. This wouldn't even have been any good in 2004 when every man and his dog were releasing the same sort of album in the UK.

Most annoying thing about the album was how obviously they're trying to sound like the Libertines.

Digging: The Machine - Calmer Than You Are

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


10288 Comments


This is actually one of the best reviews I've ever read on here.

sinisterplague
March 4th 2013


152 Comments


Not going to check this out but would read this review again.


klap
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013


10499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

not necessarily quirky i just really liked their debut, definitely stood out from the rest of that wave of british sops. everything after that has steadily become more and more generic, though i didn't hear their a capella album (and let's pray i never do). great review regardless glad i don't have to listen to this.

some serious shade at franz tho haha

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013


22014 Comments


Looked up Best of Friends and it was ok

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2013


7363 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This has been getting great write ups from pretty much every corner of the British press - not just the NME - but I'm yet to find a listener who doesn't think it's complete wank.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2013


22014 Comments


The press are awful at reviewing music. Most newspaper reviews make it seem like the reviewer was assigned the album having never heard of the band before and knowing fuck all about the genre.

That being said I haven't heard this so I can't judge

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2013


7363 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm talking about the music press rather than newspapers etc, although often it's pretty obvious they do exactly the same thing. Some of the reviews you read from the NME and Q are so misinformed its frightening.

I don't think Palma Violets will have been randomly assaigned though, since they've been so hyped up and all.



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