Monday, 25 March 2013

Parma Violets

Parma Violets were the sweets that it seems no bugger liked.  But if you visit any of the multitude of the 'Retro Sweet Shops' on t'intereweb, they appear to be popular sellers, along with aniseed balls, liquorice and cough candy (the usual candidates for the "last things left in the sweetie jar" award.

But now, with a subtle spelling change, thoughts/nightmares of confectionery past can be banished.

The album "180" by the Palma Violets does not have a soapy taste, or indeed leave a floral aftertaste in your mouth.

In short, it's the latest offering from the latest in a slew of bands the NME may well be calling 'the best since The Libertines'.

Palma Violets were formed in 2011 in Lambeth, London. A four piece band in the usual style of vocals, guitar, bass, drums and keyboards.
Their first single in 2012 was "Best Of Friends" and was the NME's Song of the Year for 2012, and the band were nominated as 'The Sound Of 2013" by the BBC (they didn't win it though)

So what is the album like?
Well, first thing first, it's released on Rough Trade which is a pretty good indicator, at least to me.  Rough Trade - along with Stiff, Yep Roc and Proper - is one of the labels that I trust, and am rarely disappointed.
The sound is one of high-energy and lo-fi recording, sometimes sounding as if it was recorded with the band altogether in a small room with slightly duff equipment (this is not a bad thing, by the way).
There are many influences which can be heard throughout the album, but none to the detriment of the Palma Violets own sound.  In the first couple of listens I heard influences such as Iggy Pop, Richard Hell and The Doors, with touches of Billy Bragg, Joy Division and Richard Hawley's voice.

Is it any good?
There is nothing wrong with this album - it is stuffed full of good tunes, and is not trying to be something it isn't, or to copy someone elses sound.
It's certainly better than OK in places, but it's not exactly earth shattering.  I'd certainly listen to it again, but I'm not finding it truly exciting (yet, maybe I never will), and I don't think it's breaking any new ground.
However, a little less hype and given a bit more time (a rare commodity in the world of music these days), I'm sure the Palma Violets will blossom.

What does it sound like?

for 'Billy Bragg does Indie with a touch of 80s' try "Best Of Friends":

for 'a bit Garage-y, with a touch of Joy Division, with a church organ on it as well', try "Step Up For The Cool Cats"

If you're partial  to a bit of indie rock, as played by the likes of The Vaccines, The Courteeners and (yes I'm going to say it again) The Libertines, then this is the album for you.
If you're not a skinny-jean wearing, floppy haired, callow youth with a tendency for self-harming, then you'll probably enjoy the music too.

No comments:

Post a Comment