There was a time when we had decent UK indie bands coming out of everywhere, however to the slow change of culture, this has changed. We have seen a decline good indie bands , as other genres have slowly been presented to us and have been consumed, styles of music has slowly changed – Glocalization (Look it up). However sometimes there is the odd indie band that slips through the ceiling and gets some approval, which has happened to Barstow Bats, who are one of these good indie bands.
Their debut EP is a classic example of an indie bands early sound before it matures, as it has those punchy riffs, that early teenager angst and a lo-fi feel surrounding the chaos of it all. ‘Play Piano’ rolls the album off with a plain and simple catchy riff, which are easy to write but difficult to pull off in a song, as some music snobs catch a whiff of the simplicity of it all and immediately turn their heads. However they do pull this off, which is due to the matching vocals which don’t lack life or personality.
The vocals are a big part of an indie band as it can be this element that wins you over, whether it is rural accent or a larger than life voice, it has a vital say in the final verdict. The vocals have a hint of The Views vocalist, Kyle Faulkner, which is why it works so well with this sound.
‘Heartbreak Kicks’ has an attacking introduction as it stabs into your ear, and with the stomping chorus it makes a cliché of indie song, reminiscent of early Arctic Monkeys. ‘Those French Kisses’ slows the whole EP down for a small period of time, as an acoustic guitar enters the fray, but with a heavy drop in the middle the song soon falls into its predecessors categories.
The songs are well put together as everything seems to be in its place, showing that the band know how to string along a song. However the production of the songs perhaps sell the band short, as it could do with some cleaning around the edges to make it that bit clearer in places. However this is only a small issue, one that can be easily rectified.
‘Marcitrio’ is a worthy closer of the EP, as it is the best song to feature it, and possibly has one of the most daunting drops I’ve heard this year. Starting off slow with a simple bass riff, the song takes a while to get into the meaty part, but when it does, you ears need to be held onto, as it is as heavy as a box of bricks.
The EP provides a strong case for the band, as it showcases some catchy indie songs that stand apart from ten for a penny bands. It will interesting to see what the band release next, as with a bit more development of the production side, they may have a hot potato on their hands.
Words by Alex Wise @al4563