With my first week as a UWSP “Pointer,” in the books it was nice to come back to my one-bedroom apartment in the “Polish Corners” with the rewarding job of reviewing new music for WWSP’s 90FM. Like most nights, I unlock the door, toss my jacket on the couch, light a candle, slip into some sweatpants, make a grilled cheese and usually resort to catching up on some British Lit. This night was a little different, however; I had a golden stack of new music to discover. My strategy was simple: ditch the British Lit for a night and pick the album with the best-looking cover art. I chose the aesthetically pleasing “A Different Kind Of Fix” by England’s The Bombay Bicycle Club.
“A Different Kind Of Fix” is the junior album for the club, produced by Jim Abbiss and the intriguing Ben H. Allen, who has produced tracks from both Animal Collective and M.I.A. The album result is what I would describe as the love child of British rockers Foals and Seattle’s Fleet Foxes.
We start in the beginning, with the entrancing “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep” that mesmerizes the ear into a world of melodic guitar initiations and electronic drum beats. Escorted by the repetitive lyrics that are “Can I wake you up/Is it late enough,” the song is what I would consider a “floater;” relaxing, simple, and thought provoking. Though not what most of us would call a “hit single,” the song is a beautifully crafted tune and one of my favorites on the album.
Like most musical pieces, the mood changes. The band’s single “Shuffle” is appropriately named due to the fact that you won’t be able to refrain from shuffling a bit to this track. With quick tempo beats, broken keys, poppy guitar and walking bass lines, I can’t help but agree with my farmer friend Dave, who said, “Disco is back.” Songs like this make wiggling your body fun again.
Lastly to be highlighted is the song “Still,” where the lead singer of the club (Jack Steadman) seems to channel Radiohead’s Tom Yorke. To most people this is a good thing; sadly, to me I think the vocals of Yorke remind me more of Chewbacca after a night of heavy drinking by himself. Thus, “Still” for me is the least attractive song on the album.
All embracing, “A Different Kind Of Fix” isn’t “flawless” but it isn’t something easily put away either. The album has its melancholy ballads and its hip popping singles, which make it a very wholesome collection of songs. Lastly, I encourage anyone with curiosity to pick the album up and give it a listen; it’s the perfect soundtrack for your afternoon.