After singles Swarm, Where You At and To Die For, London guitar-band The Bohicas have managed to turn a few heads, as they successfully bring an early-mid 2000s indie-sound into 2015. Swarm’s throbbing bass riff has smacks of The Strokes’ Reptilia, as the more aggressive guitar riff and cowbell breakdown help to provide a standout moment on their debut album. A couple of tracks earlier, the rapid-flowing vocal delivery on Where You At fits perfectly with the album’s catchiest guitar riff for another high point.
For those coming to this album aware of The Bohicas’ opening singles, the aim of the game is to bring the same quality and frantic energy to the remainder of their debut. The big chorus and heavier guitar-sound of I Do It For Your Love is a strong start, but it is followed by a dip, in the shape of the weakest of their singles so far- To Die For, which suffers a bit from the old ‘repetitive-bug’, both in its chorus and the “I get high…I get low” hook.
Unfortunately, there are a large portions of the album, where lacklustre tracks featuring bland vocal performances fail to keep The Making Of elevated at its highest level. Girlfriend starts with a dirty guitar riff and continues with a plodding bass rhythm, but as the pianos appear and the chorus kicks in, this feels like a track from a very average indie-band from 10 ears ago. XXX is another of the album’s lower points. The vocal melody lets this track down, as although there is some clever wordplay, playing on the ‘ex’ in the opening verse, the leaden hook doesn’t hit home the triple punch they seem to be going for. Elsewhere, funnily enough, the title track of all tracks, seems to be more of a filler than any other, once again shooting for a killer chorus that doesn’t really take off.
The darker, slower melody of Red Raw has a clear grunge influence, also featuring late-Arctic Monkeys style guitar-licks. You have to hand it to them, they are not afraid of trying different sounds on this album, refusing to stick to a guitar sound which comes more naturally to them. Only You also sees them play with call and response harmonies, with a piano joining the instrumentation.
Many Bohicas’ fans would have been hoping for more – such as penultimate track Upside Down And Inside Out which displays the kind of electricity that summarises everything that is exciting about The Bohicas when they’re truly on song. Final track Somehow You Know What I Mean plods along before giving a shot at a huge finale, which falls a little short, then fades out with acapella vocals over the final few seconds of guitars feeding back.
The Making Of is unable to maintain its peaks, and lingers a little too long in its troughs to make it anything to get too excited about. If you are a Bohicas fan after falling for their opening singles, you may well enjoy the full release. There are a handful of strong tracks and it is an enjoyable ride – It’s what you’d call a solid debut. At their best, they can get you out of your seat – even at their worst, the tracks in question are not completely without merit, however, a shrug of the shoulders is probably the most appropriate way to greet much of this debut.
‘The Making Of’ is out on the 21st August 2015 via Domino Recording