London hipster fodder Palma Violets were doomed from the get-go. Not their fault, necessarily – the quartet of pretty young things were content to plug away under the radar, throwing ramped-up house shows for their mates in Lambeth (the house number of which makes up the title of their debut album). They defied internet presence, weren’t privy to a slick PR squadron, nor had a bevy of art/wank black-and-white band photos of them swanning about all filled with youthful disdain in their back pockets.
But NME and their diseased brethren needed a new rock saviour, and in Palma Violets they had the right concoction of irreverence, melodicism and innate Englishness that gets them into an embarrassing lather once a month. It was a matter of time before the band were plastered with all the superlatives, wrapped up in glossy adulation and held aloft the heaving masses, 2013’s Simba.
180 is, at the end of the day, pretty perfunctory. Again, not entirely the band’s fault – there are a lot of promising factors here. The ebullient shambolism of opener Best Of Friends is a good rock song, making you feel young and stupid all over again; the haggard flailing roar of Chicken Dippers dips the toe into darker depths a la Murder City Devils (and arguably the best song here); the Clash aping of Johnny Bagga’ Donuts is actually rambunctiously effective rather than offensively derivative. But the rest of the album feels either ill-conceived, ill-equipped, or just plain lazy. In all honesty, it feels rushed, and what would sound grand in a sloppy den of slovenly depravity sounds like one hundred other lesser-thans. Next.
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