Indie Indian Takeaway Anyone?

12 Oct

Album Review

I like a good curry just as much as the next white, anglo saxon, never-been-to-India person, but this is a different kind of fix.

Named after a British-Indian takeaway joint, Bombay Bicycle Club (BBC), came from reality television beginnings, have experienced the glamour of music awards and are now back with their third studio album, A Different Kind of Fix.

This record sees the band return to electric guitars and introduce sampling into their mix of drums, keys and falsetto harmonies -probably thanks to production input from Animal Collective’s Ben Allen.

Drawing from a pool of creative influence, you get the impression that BBC are still trying to define themselves, with each track using a different approach to the last. For example, “Bad Timing” has such a Modest Mouse darkness and brooding moments in “What You Want” have a distinct Joy Division ring. Let alone the vocal stylings so folkishly Simon and Garfunkel it’s no wonder BBC have described the album as “bringing our fans something different”.

The title A Different Kind Of Fix was taken from an old song lead singer Jack Steadman wrote, about “bad habits and addictive behaviour”, which goes decidedly well with the album, a bit all over the place and indulgent.

Having said that though, the album stands out when all these inspirations come together for  a moment of synergy, a la first single “Shuffle”. The track has no chorus, rather just a bridge that never ends and a catchy and driving hook that makes you wanna do a little head-bop.

Opening track “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep” is another example of clever craft, with textured layers introduced subtly throughout the intro and first verse, building tension before the chorus unleashes haunting vocals and tribal like repetitions, ending before it even begun, stripping back the layers in reverse until it is just Steadman and his guitar.

The album seeks out a new range for the band, a step away from their previous effort Flaws, which was entirely acoustic and attracted an awards nomination. The band deserve praise for not sticking to their winning formula and instead, pushing themselves further as a band.

I can’t say I’m always in the mood for melodic indie pop, but Naan bread, man, I love that stuff.

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