It's sitting just this side of lo-fi, so it doesn't sound amateurish. On the other hand, this band has gotten some serious hype leading up to the record and that could help or hurt them. The very critical will take them down a peg for doing nothing new. The more casual music fan will think 180 sounds great for what it is. Both are right.
You've heard the deep, at times half-shouting, vocals before. You've heard the tumbling and crashing drums. You've heard the scuzzy guitars and anthemic choruses. But when the final song, “14” switches gears goes into, “I've got a brand new song / ‘s gonna be a number one / And I'd love to show the world,” it's a reminder that doing something with enthusiasm (and doing it well) can make all the difference. 180 has the kind of energy you get from artists doing something new and exciting, and believing in it.
“We Found Love” could be Palma Violet's hit for it's particularly anthemic choruses and earnest lyrical simplicity. Same goes for “Best of Friends,” with its pulsing bass line and “I wanna be your best friend / I don't want you to be my girl” refrain.
The biggest shot of gnarly energy comes on “Johnny Bagga' of Donuts.” It's just loud and fun, and that's really the reason you want to listen to Palma Violets.