ALBUM REVIEW: ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’ – Bombay Bicycle Club

Been away on a Rugby Camp for a week so missed out a few essential albums.Here we go. The start of my many reviews.

Bombay Bicycle Club are back with ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’. The album starts with one of my favourite B-B Club songs ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep?’ which yes, I know they shamefully recorded for part of the Twilight Saga soundtrack. However, it didn’t feature in the film I believe, I wouldn’t know though as I watch real vampire movies/shows not ones where they fucking glitter in the sun. Why is it one of my favourite songs by Bombay? I cannot say, it just really gripped me and is the only reason I bought the damn Twilight soundtrack. The enchanting and almost meditative sound of the drone already gives ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ a different kind of fix to earlier slightly monotonous sound of ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’. The guitar and familiar drum rhythm gives a lively start to the album with a ‘Magnet’-esque feel, lyrics though repetitive and slightly simple do the trick of easing us in to a more experiment side of Bombay, a side which I would say they lacked on ‘I Had The Blues…’

‘Bad Timing’ is the next track on the album which was one of 3 new songs they played from ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’ at Reading. Bombay are a very under rated band. The review I remember reading of ‘I Had The Blues’ gave it 4 or 3 out of 10. ‘Bad Timing’ is definitely one of the more powerful tracks on the album and is even quite synthy which is a very different kind of B-B Club. It doesn’t quite follow on from the opener as well as you hoped, however it builds up to a grungey ballad the likes of which we haven’t heard before and although the grungey disonant chords remind me of ‘Cancel On Me’ and ‘The Boy I Used To Be – EP’ this still is a more adventurous and experimental song that anything on ‘I Had The Blues…’

‘Your Eyes’ is one of the more jolly and memorable tracks on the album. It’s different still. It’s not like normal jolly Bombay not too like ‘Ivy & Gold’ or ‘Always Like This’ it stands on it’s own and sounds almost unlike Bombay. The guitar is very Mystery Jet like while the vocal lines are just like usual upbeat Bombay tracks. One of the first things I noticed about the difference in material was that the new tracks are longer, is this a bad thing? It depends. It can feel over stretched in places but overall I find that in this track especially it’s more time spent in ecstasy rather than too much of a good thing.

‘Lights Out, Words Gone’ is an immediate favourite for any listener and was definitely a highlight for anyone who was at their Reading set this year. The bass, synth, and rhythm all make this a stand out track. A female touch to this track gives it a nice ‘soft’ feel, like recently washed clothes, or new bed sheets. The guitar is still very distinctively Bombay, a nice hint of older muted and fresh guitar which gave them their fame and popularity. This is a must buy for every Bombay fan.

‘Take The Right One’ is pretty good again but unfortunately, it’s nothing special. It has no distinctive Bombay traits and is just strummed guitar if it weren’t for Jack Steadman’s unique voice I wouldn’t think very much of this track at all. It’s new and I’m all for bands changing, in fact I think to be considered a great band you must experiment a bit, but this has not grit nothing that hooks you it’s just got a nice vocal line.

‘Shuffle’ is a masterpiece. For Bombay who started out with simple sounds and simple songs to then go and sample ragtime-esque piano and create something so different to ‘Dust On The Ground’ and let alone the fact that their album before this was a folkly acoustic album startles me more that they created such a brilliant new sound. This track is the new kind of fix of the album and another essential Bombay song. Jolly, unique, gripping, and contagious, buy it.

‘Beggars’ is a track that has the hint of ‘Flaws’ which for some reason isn’t reflected much in this album at all. It starts with simple acoustic guitar and blossoms into a bouncy and lively Bombay track creating a nice diversity in the album. The lyrics and guitars really do compliment the fantastic folk side of Bombay a side which unfortunately is left out of this album too much for my liking, but perhaps after a fully acoustic album that was a wise choice.

‘Leave It’ is another great track, there is something unique but also something classic about it. The guitar is slightly mathy, something you would expect from Wave Machines or a watered down Foals, however the bursts of guitar are very much like ‘What If’, ‘Lamplight’ and all the other powerful songs on ‘I Had The Blues’. It’s one of the more ‘boppy’ songs, a ‘bouncer’.

‘Fracture’ is a soft ‘Flaws’ kind of track. The electric guitar and slow emerging drums create a strange ‘flow’ to the song like moving down a river it almost reminds me of Bob Dylan style guitar in the background of ‘Just Like A Woman’ and creates a nice relaxing come down from the sharp texture of ‘Leave It’.

‘What You Want’ confused me. The guitar, lyrics and everything doesn’t  seem to fit. It’s messy, its weird. The guitar starts the vocals come in the synths build up and eventually it all mixes together. The oo’s in the background create a very distinctive Bombay sound which contrasts the very new kind of synth and guitar sounds. It is probably one of the most intriguing tracks by Bombay I have heard it really give this album something special, something odd, abstract. I never used to see Bombay as an abstract band until I heard this track.

‘Favourite Day’ again is like ‘Take The Right One’ a bit better I must say but nothing to special to report on so I’m going to skip onto my favourite track on the album…

‘Still’ is just fucking brilliant. One of the best Bombay track I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear. Maybe it’s because I adore Radiohead but this reminds me of a Radiohead kind of melancholy but it gives this album a phenomenal send of something so different to all other track they have produced something beautiful, soft, simple, melancholic and triumphant. This is my new favourite Bombay track and I couldn’t recommended it more highly.

Here Is ‘Your Eyes’