Being labelled the next big thing can be a complete curse.
Sure, over the years, the likes of Suede, Oasis, Libertines and Arctic Monkeys have taken that ball and run with it. But then again, how quickly it was over (at this point in time, anyway) for the likes of Campag Velocet, the Young Offenders, Menswe@r, The Black Kids, Viva Brother …and bands I can’t even remember.
Palma Violets were on the front cover of NME last week, hailed as the next great guitar band. Now, aside from the gripe that I could make about ‘do we always have to be looking for four boys with guitars?’ (there’s plenty of great music that involves neither) there is a sense, aged thirty five, that ‘here we go again.’ Thing is, cynicism aside, their debut single ‘Best Of Friends’ is really rather great. I’d switched on 6Music this morning, and it came on, and it sounded great. Did it sound like the future of rock’n'roll? No -it just sounded like a great tune.
What it highlights -not for the first time – is not only the ‘build them up to knock them down’ mentality of a lot of people (and I think that bloggers have their own responsibility for this, too, not just print media), but problems that impact on so many areas of art. Obsession with what the midweek chart position is, what the opening weekend at the cinemas did, how many journalists came along to the book launch…things take time to come to fruition. And how much of a quantum leap were sophomore albums by the likes of Blur, Radiohead or Foals?
Sure, people can get carried away. I can’t tell what the Palma Violets debut album will sound like, and like pretty much any act, I really would like it not to be twelve photostats of a debut single. But let the hypers and the knives out brigade just take a deep breath and let the rest of us enjoy it for what it is.
Stream their recent session and interview with Steve Lamacq here: