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In a recent interview Bombay Bicycle Club spoke of the wave of “bad indie bands” that followed in the wake of the Arctic Monkeys’ 2006 debut. The complaint might equally have been levelled at the North London foursome.
They too emerged, jangling of chords and tremulous of voice, from the rubbish heap of UK guitar bands that went by the name of “landfill indie” in those dark days. Musicians, heal thyselves! But hang on: that’s exactly what they’ve done on their fourth album.
Opening track “Overdone” offers immediate reproof to those who had them down as fey milksops by sampling a Bollywood song before mutating into loose-limbed funk-rock. The Indian theme – a welcome expansion on their terrible name, taken from a chain of takeaway restaurants – resurfaces in “Feel”, which samples another Bollywood song, marshalling it into a blast of euphoric, Dexys-like pop with cowbells and twisty guitars.
A certain residual feyness remains, detectable in Jack Steadman’s boyishly wondering vocals, and also the way the songs stop just short of blossoming into their full potential. But they do enough to lift Bombay Bicycle Club out of the landfill.
Bombay Bicycle Club
So Long, See You Tomorrow