Bombay Bicycle Club – Everything Else Has Gone Wrong (Album Review)

Bombay Bicycle Club – Everything Else Has Gone Wrong (Album Review)

Bombay Bicycle Club took six years to follow up its last album, but the result is worth the wait! It must be remembered that the experimental and progressive flare of So Long, See You Tomorrow of 2014 was what catapulted the English band from underground status to commercial popularity, setting the bar high for whatever was there to come next. The followup did come! But will it surpass its predecessor, or at the least stand on a par with this?

Formed in 2005, in London, England, by Jack Steadman (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Jamie MacColl (guitar), Suren de Saram (drums), and Ed Nash (bass), Bombay Bicycle Club has now five studio albums on its members’ sleeves—from the guitar-oriented, Post-Punk-influenced I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose of 2009 to the just unleashed, by now familiar New Wave / Indietronica sound of Everything Else Has Gone Wrong.

Out Friday, January 17th, 2020, on the band’s own imprint Mmm… Records, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong opens with the short, loopy, baggy ditty “Get Up,” which exudes faint echoes of the ’90s Britpop Dance movement  fueled by the likes of Happy Mondays (“Step On”), The Soup Dragons (“I’m Free), and The Farm (“Groovy Train”). This is then followed by the album’s fifth single—the catchy, sunny, upbeat “Is It Real?,” securing Bombay Bicycle Club’s place in the bright, new Pop decade. The hypnotic and soulful swagger of the title-track then plays next, in which Steadman utters his sentiments in a seeming mantra, reminiscent of INXS’s “Mediate,” U2’s “Numb,” and Porno for Pyros’s “Pets.”

Bombay Bicycle Club slows down the pace and mood for a bit with the aptly “I Can Hardly Speak”—alluring, melodic, slick. An even softer and more subdued track comes next in the form of the quietly sunny “Good Day.” The rhythm and beat pick up pace again with the lead single “Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing but You),” taking the listener to the feel-good vibrations of the 2000s Post-Punk Revival era.

“I Worry ’bout You” is what may be regarded as a Sophisti-Alternative-Pop ballad, infectious with its surfacing-in-the-mix keyboard melody. Featuring the English singer Liz Lawrence on second vocals, “People People” has that Arabian synth flavor to it. The ensuing “Do You Feel Loved?” builds on this exotic sonic foundation. The penultimate track, “Let You Go” is a lullaby-esque, mood-relaxing Synthpop-stylized song—comforting, positively numbing, and mind expanding.

Finally, Steadman, MacColl, De Saram, and Nash wrap up their latest offering appropriately with the Worldbeat-inspired instrumentation of “Racing Stripes,” which will fit onto a playlist that includes Vampire Weekend’s “Oxford Comma.” T.V. on the Radio’s “Golden Age,” and Cornershop’s “Sleep on the Left Side.”

Everything Else Has Gone Wrong is definitely a proper comeback record for the now 15-year-old English Indie Rockers. The quality of the songs displays how their music has lyrically matured and stylistically broadened yet maintained being grounded in their roots. No doubt, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong was able to meet expectations. It sits well on Bombay Bicycle Club’s discography. Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase Everything Else Has Gone Wrong:

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aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. As a means to further his passion for music, he formed the band haLf man haLf eLf. He now performs with another band, The Psychedelics. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He began writing album reviews for CrypticRock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf? His next planned literary endeavor is to publish the remaining parts of the anthology and his works on Poetry, Fantasy Fiction, and Mythology. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. He participates at various community events; and he explores the diverse cultural beauty of Canada whenever his schedule permits it. aLfie is a doting and dedicated father to his now ten-year-old son, Evawwen.

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