The latest effort from local indie rockers, British India, is full of punch and grunt. But is it enough to make them stand out from the plethora of up-and-coming Aussie rock acts?
2010 is the year of the Aussie rocker. Those flying the classic rock flag and those looking to cash in on the indie craze are finally getting some mainstream recognition. This year's Splendour In The Grass lineup is the best indication of this, with old hands Wolfmother and The Vines joined by new favourites The Mess Hall, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Cloud Control and Last Dinosaurs. Somewhere amidst this Australian showcase of new and old, sit British India, Bluejuice and Operator Please. Whatever you make of this lineup, one thing's for sure, the local music scene is brimming with talent.
Unfortunately for British India, Avalanche, isn't enough to set them apart. On the whole, the album is a collection of solid rock tracks that makes for great driving music. Pick each song out individually, and it becomes less impressive.
Album opener, 'Safari', explodes with a riff that builds and builds before lead vocalist, Declan Melia, takes it down a notch with his deep, smooth vocals. That lasts about ten seconds and then it's all screams and chaos. Funnily enough, this one-minute-fifty ball of energy proves an album highlight. Something about the rough instrumentals and imperfect, scratchy vocals screams angst-rock meets punk.
The high continues in the first half of the album with simplistic tale, '90 Ways To Leave Your Lover' and poppier track 'Friends' both standouts. First single 'Vanilla' marks the halfway point and is undoubtedly British India's finest effort. It's as close as they come to a ballad, with mellow verses being met with a strong, singalong chorus. From here, the album dips in quality. 'Nowhere Boys', 'Messiah' and 'Avalanche' are all easy to listen to, but forgettable. Second single 'Beneath The Satellite' (below), is the last standout. It's a feel-good track that seems like it should be associated with memories of road trips and summer festivals.
Avalanche is full of short, sweet, punchy rock tracks featuring tales of the broken-hearted. Choose your favourites and stick to them as this isn't an album that works from start to finish. It draws similarities to The Killers' debut, Hot Fuss; where the first half of the album was the only part worth listening to. Still, British India's latest offering is worth a listen, just don't go out expecting rock gold.
Upside: Released tracks 'Vanilla' and 'Beneath the Satellite' lend themselves to a healthy singalong.
Downside: The dip in quality as the album wears on.
Best Lyric:"So make lists of your lovers and people you kiss/ And tear them to pieces, forget they exist/ My hometown is a wasteland, frightened of ghosts/ Splashed like paint on the pavement, this isn't my home."
Sounds Like: A better Gyroscope.