When Wild Palms were calling themselves Ex Lion Tamers, comparisons to Wire were justified in more than a name. They had an angular twang and a youthful snarl to them; indebted to the world of post-punk. The band still sound like Wire now, only they have more in common with their ‘154’ album than say, ‘Pink Flag’; the initial paroxysm seemingly subsiding. But ‘154’ radiated and pulsed whereas this merely fizzes a bit. Wild Palms follow in the footsteps of Wild Beasts and Foals in that they seem driven to overshadow and enhance their earlier, more primitive work by taking a giant leap into the world of instrumental intricacies. The problem is that this approach often results in a murky, overcast and at times tedious listen – sounding like a band grasping for something unattainable, perhaps following expectation rather than intuition.

By Daniel Dylan Wray

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