Refusing to stand still
Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind of Fix

They were indie. Then they were folk. Now they’re, er, baggy, if album opener ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep?’ is anything to go by. Not that it is, of course, although synthetic drum tracks and swooning indie vocals are very much the order of the day. Let’s hurdle over the predictable cliches about plugging in the guitars and turning on the electricity again and cut to the chase. With each album, BBC are leaping forward as songwriters and, while ‘Flaws’ had many beautiful moments, this is their strongest album to date by some distance.

The layered and looped sound on a number of these songs betrays the fact that Animal Collective collaborator Ben Allen had a part to play in what is a complex, diverse and actually quite moving soundscape. Lead single ‘Shuffle’ is a euphoric juggernaut, neatly propelled by a thin, wonky piano sample, while ‘Take The Right One’ jangles feyly like late-Eighties indie.

But those converted by the sparsely beguiling ‘Flaws’ needn’t be alarmed, as the quiet moments here are airily affecting. ‘Fracture’ slowly builds to a harmonic wash of sound whilst album closer ‘Still’ is like an even less energetic James Blake. When the treated vocal suddenly appears, it’s a subtle but magical touch as part of a breathtaking finale.

Occasionally the momentum wanes, but only the cold-hearted could fail to forgive the odd misstep from a band taking risks, shaping their sound and refusing to stand still.



Follow Clash: