Bombay Bicycle Club - I Had The Blues but I Shook Them Loose

Paul Cook 19/07/2009

Rating: 4.5/5

Gently floating melodies telling tales of adolescence and innocence make up the long-awaited long-player from London's Bombay Bicycle Club and at the age of just 19 they're a band with true potential to be the best up-and-coming indie kids since Bloc Party.

From the first few strums on the instrumental opener Emergency Contraception Blues with its fast paced, intro' style riffs and moody string accompaniment ”I Had The Blues…” has you hooked. Quickly onto Lamplight then and Jack Steadman's trembling, echoing vocals display one of the band's instantly recognisable sounds. The music is probably best described as an uplifting, up tempo style of indie-pop with the occasional heavy riff and drum solo keeping the listener on their toes.

Of course several comparisons can be made but it would an injustice as here is a band that have clearly made headway in creating something original and refreshing. Open-tuned guitars, string-slides, thundering drum rolls and everything in between is so delicately positioned that each part is appreciable. The separate rhythm and lead guitars have their own special moments before pile driving into another full-throttle chorus of passion.

Fourth track on the album and the second to be released Dust on the Ground is a contender for single of the year so far with its ever so simple melody and soft, soaring chorus. Adolescent poeticism like much of the songwriting on the album creates a captivating dream-like mood. The Hill is similarly idyllic and mirrors the glorious summer weather we've had so far this year. Playful tales of seasonal frolics and childhood nostalgia seem fitting for such a promisingly youthful band.

The first single released three months back, Always Like This is reminiscent of a mellower Maccabees with particularly nimble drumming and heartfelt lyrics and further evidence that Bombay Bicycle Club are ready to make their mark in similar circles as The Maccabees. Playing a number of festivals this summer, starting with Latitude the weekend just gone, Jack Steadman and co. are one of the definite must-see bands this summer.