Review: Bombay Bicycle Club- A Different Kind of Fix

Bombay Bicycle Club truly are hard workers of the indie craft it seems. They have ploughed away and now produced three albums in three years, making their mark on the scene with upmost buoyancy and professionalism. Their previous two records, ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ and ‘Flaws’ have seen the band demonstrate their diversity and array of talents. ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ was very much a classic indie piece, strung together with grinding guitars, while ‘Flaws’ was a stripped back acoustic record which highlighted their prowess for capturing the sentimental and melancholic.

With such different albums made in a relatively short space of time, many were questioning where the quartet would head next, and ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ is the resounding and altogether triumphant retort. The album’s opener, ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’, eases the listener in before building up around a simple rhythm to an explosion of beats and rising guitars which ooze with blissful exuberance. Immediately I am hooked and smoothly brought into ‘Bad Timing’ which is reminiscent of their earlier ‘Evening/Morning’ from their debut album, but this time around there is hint of mid 90s indie sound involved, comparable to Dinosaur Jr. The upbeat tempo is continued into ‘Your Eyes’ and suggestions of indie disco emerge, a far cry from the love struck folk melodies of ‘Flaws’. Further indie pop saunters out from ‘Lights Out’, ‘Words Gone’ and ‘Take The Right One’, which again are built around a simple pattern but expand with confidence, before we get to the opening single from the record, ‘Shuffle’.

Shuffle’ samples a very simple piano loop, but manages to create an insatiable taste of late night British indie summer. It has a hook which you simply cannot escape and exudes a gleeful happiness which makes it so hard not to enjoy it. Indeed this aura of joy resonates throughout the record and leaves a pleasant taste behind that would accompany a warm glass of chardonnay during a sunset perfectly. A highlight is ‘Leave It’ which captures all the tones of teenage romance in an aesthetically pleasing package. The record winds down nicely and finishes off with ‘Still’, which reminds the listener that these North Londoners still have the capacity to ply at the heartstrings. The soft touches of echoing vocals ease out and as the last touches of minor keys descend into background noise it seems apparent that these youngsters have made their best record to date.

Bombay Bicycle Club, with ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’, have expanded out of the British indie scene and taken a leaf out of the American East Coast books to produce something reminiscent of The Antlers or Animal Collective. Indeed this may have something to do with the fact the album was produced by Ben Allen who has previously worked with Animal Collective. He has brought a more layered, beat based approach which combines succinctly with Bombay’s past and creates a fresh piece of music whose uplifting tones have all the hallmarks of one of the albums of the year. It may not be overly edgy and will perhaps annoy those have grown tired of the anti-rock movement, which has been championed by the likes of Belle and Sebastian in years gone by, but as far as indie records go, this is a different kind of level.

Jack Gilbert


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