Monday, October 10, 2011

A Different Kind Of Fix - Bombay Bicycle Club

A Different Kind Of Fix

Bombay Bicycle Club
Universal/Island Records.

SCQ Rating: 79%

Discovering Bombay Bicycle Club as I have – upon the release of their third release in three years – has offered benefits beyond the good fortune of finding this band in the first place. From the tone of most critics, I’ve seemingly skipped the lion’s share of baggage surrounding these lads and whatever sins they’ve committed against the purebred indie crowd. Perhaps signing to the combined dark forces of Universal and Island Records was all it took to slap “spoiled kids” on these lads’ backs but none of that subtracts from A Different Kind Of Fix’s clever songwriting or accomplished sonic backdrops.

The first cut ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’ survives its inclusion on a Twilight soundtrack by proving an irresistible mix of tortured verses chanted over shoegaze-tinged waves of euphoria. The blurred guitar histrionics that dominate tracks like ‘Take the Right One’ and ‘What You Want’ reveal the band’s youthful vigor but stand in stark opposition to Jack Steadman’s matured pop instincts. The jangly pop of ‘Lights Out, Words Gone’ arrives transformed by Faith-era atmospherics (had the Cure maybe not been quite so morose) while ‘Shuffle’ proves deeper than its surface appeal thanks to an off-kilter piano sample that feeds right into the driving chorus. And while tender balladry on ‘Fracture’ and ‘Still’ stands firmly on its own merits, one must acknowledge the wizardry of producer Ben (Merriweather Post Pavilion) Allen, whose work certainly provides distinct playgrounds for ‘Favourite Day’’s pomp and ‘Bad Timing’’s chill.

Whatever rules Bombay Bicycle Club broke to become such petchulant children in the eyes of the critical elite, I’m happy to remain oblivious in my affection for this elegant rock record. An ideal mix of momentum and romanticism, A Different Kind Of Fix leaves little room for petty posturing.

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