Lou Hill, lead singer of Wild Palms has a big mouth. It’s a physical chasm - wide, gaping almost yawning to the floor as he sings. As it opens the sound that surges out suits the bands music perfectly, sometimes soaring, yet at other times twisting and turning into a snappy angry howl.
The bands layered atmospheric indie also fits the dark basement architecture of Jam. Threatening distorted tribal rhythms - sometimes played out on an electronic drum pad - play out over soaring buzz guitars that veer in style from noise doom to jerky angular post rock. Dry ice and overtly dramatic stroboscopic lighting add weighty menace to the bands sonic assault. There may not always be obvious melodies within Wild Palms song structures but there is still plenty of merit.
Quite where Wild Palms fit in the indie rock family tree is a little unclear. The goth Friendly Fires ? A warmer post-punk collective sitting between Gang of Four and a fuzzier Joy Division ? There’s certainly a sullen undercurrent to their songs, yet despite the gloom Wild Palms blast out their industrial new wave to form something that seems almost joyous. By the time they hit new single Deep Dive they have a number of the crowd moving to their taught cutting and gliding sound.
Wild Palms may look like your typical pale faced indie lads, but their music has a wider, artier aesthetic. Whilst in their current form they are never going to challenge for high profile commercial success, their Brighton show still had a dense and substantial impact.