01 August 2009

Catching up with Bombay Bicycle Club and Trip

Finally had the chance to catch up with SDM and plan out some reviews. So with the help of Hyena (who reviewed Trip), here are two albums that everyone will hopefully enjoy.

Bombay Bicycle Club: “I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Off”

Hailing from Crouching End, London, the four-man band, Bombay Bicycle Club, have released their debut album, “I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose” on (6 July 2009 in the Europe, available as import in the USA). The album was produced by Jim Abbiss, known best for his role as producer of Arctic Monkeys, Ladytrons, Kasabians, Editors, Sneaker Pimps, and Adele's debut albums. This album definitely holds high hopes and had been announced for about two months in advance, leaving anticipation and excitement not only for the band itself but also for music listeners. Affectionately, I call the band “BBC,” but the sound coming from this particular band possesses an unusual sound within the indie world, a hidden treasure amongst the big leagues of today.

The album starts off with a stirring instrumental, “Emergency Contraception Blues.” At first the track is not extremely distinctive and does not prepare the listener what is to come. We get to listen to vocals this time around and, to my surprise, it is a very distinctive sound and there seems to be a pattern with their sound: strong drumming, an active bass, keyboards, and, of course, catchy but not too complex guitar sound. Perhaps it is the voice of Jack Steadman (lead singer and guitar) that sets them apart, sound-wise: it’s a trembling vocal, but hearing it is quite out of the ordinary. But it is not just the voice in isolation that makes this band shine; it is how the vocals interplay with the instrumentalization.

This is definitely an album of this time period. The sound is relevant and crisp, nice to blast in a car yet great to listen casually to. The lyrics of the tracks are definitely not cryptic as many bands have given into with their post-punk obsession; they are short, straight forward, and sometimes inaudible, which is the beauty of this band. You don’t have to wrack your brains to understand the music, making it easier to enjoy and not question it but I did find a very interesting verse in one of the tracks, one that I had to definitely think about. “Looking back looking out at different things, we flew to high let the sun burn our wings, we never thought it would be us, but it all comes back turned to dust.” As I said before, it’s nothing too cryptic, but it is very beautifully worded. The lines basically describe someone who’s had their ego popped but these words make it all the more imaginative and poetic.

These tracks are dangerously enticing, addicting, and catchy, and toe tapping may commence. These guys already have a strong fan base and have just released three singles, with two existing EPs from 2007. They definitely are off to a strong start and hold the promise of longevity.

Track Listing:

1. Emergency Contraception Blues
2. Lamplight
3. Evening/Morning
4. Dust on the Ground
5. Ghost
6. Always Like This
7. Magnet
8. Cancel on Me
9. Autumn
10. The Hill
11. What If
12. The Giantess

Keep up with Bombay Bicycle Club at their homepage, MySpace, and Twitter.

Here is their video for “Dust on the Ground” from their YouTube Channel: bombaybicycleclubtv.

Trip: “Shortcuts”

Straight out of Hammersmith, West London, Alex Child, the front man of Trip has released his debut album, “Shortcuts” (2 August 2009). The album is a kaleidoscope of sounds ranging from rap, electronic, and alternative rock, maybe this is due to Child’s varying range of musical influences which include Bob Dylan, Muse, Johnny Cash, Arctic Monkeys, Redman, and Barbra Streisand, alongside non-musical influences such as “Pulp Fiction,” “The Incredibles,” “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “The Wrestler.” This album is absolute ear candy and is a real eye opener as a great representation of the type of music that Trip is capable of producing.

“Shortcuts” is best described as poetry; every song in the album has a narrative with many messages. The first song starts off strong, “Applecheeks” talks about a young couple having fun together while discovering the meaning of love in their youth. Each song in the album will paint a visual image of what is happening to each character while expressing (usually in the chorus) what they are thinking. While the first song is about young love the second, “Rented,” will have you jamming while taking a deep breath and falling in love again with the chorus “I’m looking for your face in crowded places, I’m double taking all these random strangers, and since I left you at Victoria Station you’ve rented my head out, rented my head out”. While the first two will have you remembering past loves and cherishing new ones, the album also has its funny sides. This is especially true with (you guessed it, the third song) “Laundromat,” which in short is a hilarious story of a man walking into a woman in a laundry. Also, the album has some very dark song, like “The Gambler,” which is about a man thinking about his life before he commits suicide with lyrics: “I’m out on this ledge, with my hands out stretched, my feet together, I’ve reached my tether; take a deep breath, my cheeks get redder, the pavement will spell it I don’t need no letter.” Each song in the album is unique enough to have me writing here all day, but that might spoil it for you.

Every song has a message and an emotional impact on the listener, which varies only on who you are. While Trip raps on the album, each song is given diversity by the soundtrack, which is different in each song, mainly compromised of alternative sounds. The catchy soundtrack will have you dancing along to songs and the lyrics will either have you laughing, remembering the past, or seriously thinking about life. “Shortcuts” is a mixture of sounds feelings and if listened from beginning to end can be compared to a person’s life and experiences. The album’s diversity is great enough that after the first listen through, you will be able to relate each song to your own experiences. The album is addicting, fun, relevant, and above all else each song has a personality of its own. To sum it all up, this is a great album and a must have.

Track Listing:

1. Applecheeks
2. Rented
3. Laundromat
4. Go Away
5. Break the Jukebox
6. River Phoenix
7. Olympic Breakfast
8. Breathe
9. Summer Sundays
10. The Gambler
11. Who’s That

Keep up with Trip at their MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

Here is their video for “Who’s That” from their YouTube Channel: TripsKingdom.

1 comment:

  1. Bombay Bicycle Club is one club im on line to join for register