After the success of the last album, Bombay Bicycle Club had the chance to straddle a higher profile producer, to ride towards further mainstream success.
Instead, Jack Steadman has politely held up his hand as a secret suitor to the task of producing the next chapter of the band’s illogical musical progression. From measured indie-rock, they’ve tried sauntering across quiet acoustic lullabies before arriving triumphantly at Shuffle (2011), and the other collection of dance hall fillers.
If any scientific interpretation were to be gleaned, it would only take a festival performance to notice where the bands intentions lie; they are rooted firmly in pop, and making a crowd move.
‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ perhaps solves the problem of the snap-backed festival attendee, who hasn’t drunk quite enough Fosters to participate in the indie-boy body pop without feeling at least a little self-conscious.
Steadman exhibits a clear prowess in sampling from the get-go, with the rising flutes of Apne Pyar Ke Sapne (Some random ass Bollywood song) introducing Overdone, which features a huge detuned guitar riff that would not go amiss on a QOTSA track. It’s these moments that give the album credit; where a distinct knowledge of pop and crowd pleasing results, in tracks that are more self-assured than any of their output to date.
I completely forgot about the reserved quality of Shuffle, as the unexpected bass levels in Carry Me caused me to cough up a mouthful of Earl Grey all over my turtle neck.
Luna stands out as the most accomplished track, incorporating the well publicised Indian samples seamlessly and featuring impressive harmonized vocals from, emerging talent, Rae Morris. However after this track, the album starts to loose coherence; although their are some interesting songs, they seem very removed from the first six tracks. This is a small price to pay for the vibrant moments on the album, where it is clear that the band enjoyed the freedom of self-production.
Overall I think it’s their best offering so far, and will definitely be an act worth catching over the summer.
Words by Nathan Start