Album Review: Danger In The Club // Palma Violets

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Monday the 4th of May brought the long-awaited release of Danger In The Club, Palma Violets’ follow-up to 180. When they came together as a group in 2010, frontmen Chilli Jesson and Sam Fryer started the ensemble of their eclectic mix of modernised 70s rock and emotive lyrics before creating their first album 180 (named after the studio in which they were based). With such a successful debut showing potential for great things, fans were waiting impatiently to see what the band would deliver. Inspired by their travelling between continents and by more bizarre concepts (namely “mothers’ menopauses”), Danger In The Club reveals a more thought-out side to the band’s music.

Listening to the new release for the first time makes the album feel somewhat underpowered, but a few more loops of the 13 tracks truly highlights how the band have developed their approach to their music. It seems more structured and mature as opposed to the wild and powerful sense of freedom within their previous album. For example, tracks like ‘Coming Over to My Place’, ‘Walking Home’ and ‘No Money Honey’ are songs that tend to be calm and subdued, thereby giving a more sombre feel to the album as a whole. Especially emphasised by the lyrics “I would rather die than be in love” and “There’s nothing for me anymore”, the band’s new heartfelt attitude towards their song writing presents a sense that they have moved away from their well-loved manic flair.

However, the remainder of the album is delivered in true Palma Violets style, with the previously unheard ‘Hollywood (I Got It)’ and ‘Gout! Gang! Go!’ bringing back the vivacious sound their audience are used to. Of course, the pre-release of ‘English Tongue’ and the title track, ‘Danger In The Club’, carried much excitement with their catchy guitar riffs acting as good omens several weeks before the full set of tracks was revealed. If not only for the spectacular compilation of different instruments and of voice, the lyrics make the listener feel compelled to shout along in unison since they are expressed passionately and with great strength. Just ensure that you don’t make the error of dancing too vigorously and dropping your laptop on the floor (as I did).

Naturally, not every fragment of the album is perfect. The opening track, ‘Sweet Violets’, comprises a mysterious 22 seconds of a song similar to a sea shanty and a lack of instrumental backing. Although it showcases how Palma Violets remain free with their style and gives a humorous edge, one questions the purpose of the sound clip. Another track causing some controversy over its quality is ‘The Jacket Song’, however I find it to be the most emotionally outstretched song on the record. Starting with the line “I’m sorry for the way I treated your love”, the lyrics are apologetic and longing, creating a song that exposes the romantic and delicate side of the lead singers. Coupled with raw, untainted guitar and drums, an extremely pure sound is produced by Palma Violets.

Danger In The Club isn’t typical of the band’s previous sound, but they have developed in their exploration of themselves. The more I listen to this album, the more I enjoy it so it is worth listening repeatedly to get everything out of it. After playing at Reading and Leeds Festival later this year, they begin their 2015 UK tour so it is certain that their latest release will be the source of frantically excited crowds throughout the summer.

Words by Eleanor Bateman

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