OK, so BRITISH INDIA are not exactly brand, spanking new… but they’re new to me, and they’re ‘excellent’ and so that qualifies them for the list as far as I’m concerned. (They are also Australian, just to confuse their name even further.) And they rawk!
This young Melbourne four-piece successfully bridge the gap between conventional ‘indie’ styled music and ‘rock’ without falling into the ‘emo’ safety net so favoured by many bands seeking to make a similar jump.
With three albums and several singles already under their belt, and headline tours plus festival appearances in their homeland, BRITISH INDIA could be considered more as seasoned professionals than newcomers. However, I guess it must be like starting out and having to prove themselves all over again if they are to make an impression in the UK. But on the basis of this four-track EP, they have nothing to fear as a certain self-assuredness shines through each of the tracks. Nothing too ‘over the top;’ just something that already marks them out as ‘quality.’
Title track ‘Vanilla’ has (relatively) quiet verses, with the strong vocals backed by tempered drums and hushed guitar. But it all changes for the choruses that are epic and simply anthemic, with the simple ‘chime’ of a guitar providing an intermittent hook amongst all the beautiful noise. A searing little guitar solo completes the opening package.
At less than two minutes in length and a punk inspired opening bass line, ‘Safari’ blasts through the speakers, again with squealing guitar, crashing drums and more shouted, though not quite ‘hardcore’ vocals. Brilliant!
’90 Ways To Leave You Lover’ starts with the sample of some geezer (presumably famous, but not to me!) making a speech about ‘the young’ overwhelming themselves with drugs and stimulants. The music, though is fast and furious, with vocalist Declan Melia shouting the words ‘where is your boyfriend tonight? Shame he couldn’t be here..!’ at a girl in a bar that he ‘couldn’t let drink alone.’ Has Declan split with this girl, or this just the boorish Aussie method of chat-up? I have no idea. I’m sure it all means something….. all that really interests me is that the music is just so energetic and charged.
Final track ‘Because Of You’ again has a quieter initial third, but then explodes into a slightly grunge tinged rock anthem. The pace is a bit more ‘deliberate’ than the preceding songs, but is none-the-less still quite an epic.
Based on the strength of this EP, it would seem to me that BRITISH INDIA are destined to become UK Festival favourites next summer. Their music is almost ‘too big’ for the small venues around the country and although they will no doubt have to start at the ‘toilet’ end of the circuit, they are ready-primed to become more of a Stadium band in the years to come.
There you are!
(Released through Shock Distribution / Waste Management on 25th October 2010)
(9.5 / 10)