Record review: Palma Violets – 180 (2013 LP)

Every so often a new group of young cool cats is heralded as the saviours of rock ‘n’ roll, and the mission to bring guitar music to the masses and reinstall indie rock back to its position at the top of the musical hierarchy is forced upon them by various magazines and blogs. London likely lads Palma Violets have been touted as the new Messiahs for the past few months, just like Rough Trade label mates The Libertines and The Strokes before them. Being particularly adept purveyors of the form, they will certainly add a lot to indie-rock music, rather than changing the whole scene altogether. Like The Libertines, they are a brilliant mix of ramshackle melodies, gutter heartbreak, and charming scrappiness, and the quartet back up their new-indie-kids-on-the-block style with plenty of song-writing substance. ‘Step Up For The Cool Cats’ is a good place to start checking them out; it brings together scratchy guitar lines, lo-fi organs, and a hint at aggression desperate to be unleashed. Elsewhere, ‘Tom the Drum’ channels the guitar work of Eddie Cochran and drumkits are given a relentless pounding, and ‘Chicken Dippers’ sounds like a junk food-addicted Julian Casablancas crooning on a spaghetti western track. Media hype has crippled and crushed many a young band before they had a chance to really get going, so it will be interesting to see how Palma Violets cope with the expectations placed upon them. (Rough Trade)

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