Reviewed by James Lavender
When Palma Violet burst on the scene in 2013 with their debut album 180, they were proclaimed the “saviours of indie music”. Their mixture of garage rock, punk and psychedelic gave British indie music a much needed shot of creativity. So now they come with their second album Danger in the Club.
The Violets carry off their second album not just with a great deal of confidence and bombast, but also with added maturity to their sound. They certainly mean business as they have got John Leckie, who has worked with The Stone Roses and Radiohead as producer. Given their background in London, references to the musical influences of the city percolate through the record. The musical hall piano of the title track, Danger in the Club and Peter & The Gun creates the atmosphere of a cockney-knees up, but with added heavy bass and cutting, screeching guitar work. The sound of the singers Alexander “Chilli” Jesson and Samuel Thomas Fryer feature nods to Iggy Pop, Joe Strummer, Graham Parker and Lee Brilleaux of Doctor Feelgood fame.
Palma Violets are very much influenced by garage rock, and whilst it can get a bit repetitive on songs such as Hollywood (I Got it), Girl, You Couldn’t Do Any Better on the Beach and Coming Over to My Place, they are catchy, crowd-cheering numbers which will appeal to anyone at a live concert. However, I would say that the more original and stand-out songs are the ones which hark back to punk, pub rock and music hall traditions, such as Danger in the Club. More stand-out songs include acoustic-ballad The Jacket Song and Matador, which is driven by a heavy, rhythmic bass which reminds you of Doolittle-era Pixies.
The band know their music history, and drawing on the legacy of British bands from The Beatles to The Libertines, via American influences such as Iggy Pop and The Pixies, they have used these influences to propel themselves forward confidently. Whether this will see them break into the mainstream and live up to the hype however, that remains to be seen.
Recommended Song: Danger in the Club