13 July 2009

>>>Bombay Bicycle Club>>>I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose
Child stars, or whatever you want to categorise them as, have been prett rife in pop music pretty much since it all kicked off. From Stevie Wonder to Michael Jackson (R.I.P) through to the Osmonds and the Disney set (Justin Timberlake, Britney, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus *shudder*) even in hip-hop with Lil' Bow Wow and Lil' Wayne and other "lil" people with chains bigger than them. But indie/alt. rock has never been a place for those below drinking age. Apart from Tiny Masters Of Today, "underage" rock wasn't really even a thing until the mini-explosion of the 'scene' a few years back. It gave us Poppy And The Jezebels, Cajun Dance Party and this lot, Bombay Bicycle Club.

Things have been quiet for BBC since winning the 2006 Road To V competition and opening the festival, but 3 long (well for uber-fans anyways) years later they've produced their wonderfully-titled debut "I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose". The band have one foot in Britpop and the other firmly in American alternative rock, often sounding like a youthful Death Cab For Cutie, especially on "Lamplight". For four teenagers who have barely just finished their A-Levels (which, personally makes me feel like I've wasted the last few years) BBC are suprisingly mature musically. Whreas most teenage bands end up sounding like godawful Arctic Monkeys/Klaxons/No Age soundalike bands, BBC make epic-sounding alt. rock that stands out from the rest of the indie class of '09. Fluid guitar lines explode into spiky powerchords in a way last seen on Bloc Party's "Silent Alarm".

Comparisons with Bloc don't end their; BBC's songwriting have a delicate, heartfelt edge which has been eradicated in Bloc Party thanks to the overwhelming dance elements. But whilst they may be talented and unique in today's music scene, "I Had The Blues..." isn't the fantastic debut promised by their early demos and hype. It does have a handful of brilliant songs, lead single "Dust On The Ground" for instance, as well as "Always Like This" which is manages to sound like The Smiths, Vampire Weekend, Foals, Bloc Party and Jeff Buckley (due to Jack Steadman's acrobatic vocals) all at once, but there isn't much else that jumps out or strikes me as a work of genius like the aforementioned two tracks. However, BBC show tons of promise and will probably produce album after album that better this...hopefully.
(Apologies for the awful title, there was nothing else I could think of)
ESSENTIAL TRACKS: "Dust On The Ground", "Always Like This", "Cancel On Me", "The Hill", "The Giantess"
FOR FANS OF: Bloc Party, The Maccabees, Cajun Dance Party


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