I like Bombay Bicycle Club. In the five years or so since they’ve been together they’ve put together a top notch demo, two EP’s and three full-length efforts including their latest, A Different Kind Of Fix. Compare that to Two Door Cinema Club, a band who have been around for about the same time and have garnered a similar amount of airplay who have just one album and one EP. I respect the fact that they want to make music.
I also like how they’ve not been afraid to experiment a little. Their first album was superb – in my top five of 2009 – and they followed it up with a very different sound with 2010’s Flaws. For me this felt like the band were getting the ‘acoustic’ out of their system a little and I think they’re back on track and plugged in with their new release.
According to Wikipedia the opening song ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’ was on one of the Twilight films (in case you care). It sounds like it could have been on I Had The Blues; the bass drives the song in a similar way to many of the tracks on their debut. The drumming is one of the highlights of this album, with songs like ‘Shuffle’ and ‘Lights Out, Words Gone’ making good use of the shuffle rhythm that is popular at the moment. In fact, they are my two favourite songs on the album for that very reason.
With regards to Jack Steadman’s vocals they haven’t changed much. A friend of mine said that there’s something about them that sounds put on, and he’s probably right. It does give the songs a certain fragile quality though which works fantastically with the female backing vocals. At times, notably in ‘Still’, he has a Thom Yorke quality to his vocals which is a little astounding.
Much has been made of BBC’s use of loops and the way that electronica is filtering into their work. Some people are putting it down to the influence of Animal Collective’s Ben Allen or Steadman’s emerging bedroom electronica hobby, but I’d like to think of it as them exploring another avenue. It gives the album a feel that is similar to Foals’ Total Life Forever, although sadly it doesn’t quite reach such heady heights.
Given that this is BBC’s third album and they are still experimenting with their sound suggests that their next album is going to be pretty important. Having shown that their palate is wide, they now need to show what they are capable of.
File next to: Foals, Sky Larkin, Radiohead.