The Bohicas enjoyable debut calls to mind the sound of garage rock from the turn of the century. It's nothing groundbreaking, but the hooks are solid and the tunes are catchy.
The Bohicas serve up muscular rock 'n' roll in the tradition of '00s garage rock and pretty much anyone who decided to make some noise with their like-minded friends on their more than solid debut LP for Domino. The quartet, consisting of Dominic McGuinness, Brendan Heaney, Dominic John and Adrian Acolatse, has roots in Essex. According to the band’s bio, McGuinness, Heaney and John bonded over a love of classic '60s artists like the Beatles and the Kinks, as well as the guitar groups that emerged at the turn of the century.
The band has released their first album, riding a wave of hype from 2014. It's catchy, melodic rock 'n' roll, influenced no doubt by acts like the Strokes and Arctic Monkeys. The Making Of sounds like a lost release of one of those groups that becomes a footnotes to a genre or stylistic trend. That doesn't mean the music contained within isn't worthwhile. On the contrary, it's well-polished, with a clear understanding of song structure and a knack for melody. It's the type of LP, that would be hit with workmanlike descriptor.
Many of the tracks are ripe for the plucking by the discerning music supervisor building a soundtrack for a film or television show. There are some real bright moments, but the album as a whole struggles to rise above the problem many young bands face: subsuming their influences rather than wearing them on their sleeves. It's a catchy enough record, but one I've heard a few times before, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's an enjoyable undertaking to play spot the reference. This being a debut album, there is plenty of energy and joie de vivre to the proceedings. That being said, the songs can get a little similar sounding, but the bright, candy-coated sheen of production minimizes the problem.
No surprises there given the personnel manning the boards: Mark Rankin, Chris Hughes and Oli Bayston. Rankin produced the most recent albums by Queens of the Stone Age and Bombay Bicycle Club respectively. Chris Hughes is a former member of Adam and the Ants and produced the classic Tears for Fears album Songs From the Big Chair. Oli Bayston is a well-regarded producer and engineer and records under the name Boxed In.
Standout tracks for the album are the two singles: "XXX" and "Swarm", but for my money, it's really "I Do It For Your Love", the lead track, that really draws you in. It's hooky and tuneful and activates those feelings of nostalgia, especially if you're like me and your teenage years occurred during the so-called garage rock revival. If you're younger, well this is the type of LP that's a bridge to the wider world of indie rock, when you're trying on new personas and generally trying to a feel for yourself as an individual. It's a good first step as their is a real sense of love and appreciation for the group's influences. It's never a demanding listen, but there's enough substance to hold the attention of the listener.
The record clocks in at just under 40 never minutes and the Bohicas never overstay their welcome. One can only hope subsequent releases build on enhance the solid foundation present on this enjoyable debut.