The latest band hailed as the Great White Hopes of bland, student-friendly indie-rock, Palma Violets have, remarkably, managed to make a record so uninspiring and undercooked it makes the likes of The Vaccines or Razorlight seem like misunderstood savants.
180 begins with their calling card, Best Of Friends, which was, quite incredibly, voted the best song of 2012 by the NME; it’s garage rock by numbers and sounds like it took as long to write as it does to listen to. In the right hands this is no bad thing – the crux of rock’n’roll, even. Here it’s stodgy, with a bass line that plods along following the tame-sounding rhythm guitar and a charmless mess of lyrics.
Things get worse: we find a young band seemingly just getting to grips with the basics of playing their instruments, flitting from apeing The Kinks (All The Garden Birds) to a series of slightly cringe-worthy Jim Morrison impressions (Tom The Drum stands out). Perhaps with time and the right producer, Palma Violets may fulfil their live promise. Unfortunately, on record, they have to rely on the quality of their material – and have fallen a long way short.