Palma Violets have really made themselves known by having extremely exciting live shows, with members of the band, mainly singer and bassist, Chilli Jesson, flinging himself all over the stage and crowd surfing between yelling his own inspirational lines to the crowd to get them going. You can hear that same energy on the album, because each song sounds like it was recorded on a live take, which I love. It's always nice when a band sounds the same at live shows and on recording. The album starts off with "Best of Friends," sung by Chilli, that has an opening riff you'll never get of your head. (But seriously, you'll never want it to leave.) "Step Up for the Cool Cats" is next, which has a synth groove by keyboardist Pete Mayhew that may remind you of a '60s group like the Monkees.
Tempo often changes throughout the album, but the slow songs are just as alive as the fast ones. "Last of the Summer Wine" is kind of the halfway point of the album, and is best accompanied by a beautiful sunset and some pals. The opening riff by guitarist Sam Fryer builds oh-so-beautifully, and erupts into a sort of anthem we can all relate to ("Love isn't easy/That's just the way it goes"), which most of their songs do. After that point in the album, things get turned up with "Tom the Drum" and "Johnny Bagga' Donuts," and "We Found Love," which is totally my favorite track on the album. It makes my heart sing! Cheesy but true.
Palma Violets bring it home with the longest track on the album, "14," that turns into a sort of secret track, "Brand New Song," that the band always plays quite lively at the end of their shows. It's a great closer to the album, and a great live closer, with all of its brash cymbals and whistling. It's another sort of anthem that makes you feel like you're just messing around with your friends. That's what 180 sounds like, you just hanging out with your best pals and having an excellent time, which I believe was the band's aim. The cover of the album shows the band in front of their studio, 180, that the record was named after, and on the door it says, "In times of turmoil, find a home to attack from." Looking at it, I realize that I take this phrase to heart when I listen to the album, because it really lifts you up and gives you super positive vibes. 180 makes you feel like you can do anything. I suggest you go get this record ASAP and turn those negative vibes into good ones! —Maddie
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