English three-piece Indigo Bones was born out of the trio’s love for no frills, garage style rock ‘n’ roll. Familiarity between members from prior collaborations saw an instant musical chemistry as they set about making a name for themselves on the live scene. Eager to keep the wheels turning, they’ve now sought to document the force of their live show with their self titled EP.
Indigo Bones aren’t trying to win over fans with expansive compositions or complex musical components. They aim for the bullseye with concise, anthemic songs that focus on groove and attitude. A key aspect of this approach is the stellar production job, that has a hearty, healthy balance of all three contributors. The bass of Mark Swan is thick and heavy, supported by the thump of Marty Hoyle’s drums, Chris Welburn’s guitar giving proceedings a coarse coat of gloss. The guitar tone throws me every time I hear a little lick played, sounding remarkably like there’s some sort of keyboard presence in the mix (of which there isn’t, to my knowledge at least). It gives the songs a deeper, fuller sound that is incredibly effective.
Of course, the greatest production job in the world can’t save poor songs. Thankfully, the material Indigo Bones offer is decent overall, with some pretty good songs marred slightly by one or two mishaps. “Vertical Sleep” is a cracking opener; a nice guitar motif and punchy verse action leading to a memorable chorus hook. The build up in the interlude will lend itself well to the live environment, the final refrain rounding off the song in energetic fashion. This energy is mirrored in closer “Elastic Patient”, a thrilling rock ‘n’ roller with a great riff that does well to toe the line between heaviness and melody. These two songs bookend the EP, sandwiching a duo of weaker songs. There is nothing overly terrible about “Delicate” or “Silver Nosebleeds”, with both again containing some good guitar work (particularly the slowly uncoiling riff of the latter). Both songs are a bit repetitive though, with the tranquil interjections in “Delicate” also doing the song no favours by killing the momentum stone dead. Perhaps more crucially, both songs have feature two of the more awkward vocal moments on the EP, with the rough performance on “Silver Nosebleeds” likely to be a like it or loathe it sort of thing. That said, there is a certain roguish charm to the dual delivery of Hoyle and Welburn, offering both a theatricality and bratty, punisk vibe to affairs.
Indigo Bones’ eponymous effort is not without its flaws, but for a debut release, it’s a good effort. There’s a few song writing slips, but there’s enough here to show that they’ve the quality to grow into a more consistent act. Certainly a name for garage rock fans to keep an eye on.
Highlights: “Vertical Sleep”, “Elastic Patient”