While most boys are awkwardly asking girls out on dates and/or studying for their ACT Tests, these 15-year-old boys from North London got together and started a band. Two years later we have a band of school chums (who are still in school) known as the Bombay Bicycle Club and they need to be on your radar. These teen boys know what they're doing and they've polished their skills with the help of producer Jim Abbiss (Editors, Arctic Monkeys).
Recorded and released in 2006, The Boy I Used To Be EP contains four near perfect radio-friendly "alternative" songs. It's hard to classify the style of music these boys make. They're a cleaner version of the Strokes, a more unique sound than the Kooks, or perhaps a happy Joy Division... more like a combination of all three of these things. Lead singer Jack Steadman has a unique wobble in his voice that gives their songs some charm and personality. (I hope he doesn't battle with a case of the Peter Brady's once he leaves high school. He needs that voice.)
Full of jangly guitar riffs and poppy drumming, The Boy I Used To Be seems like the type of album that should be underscoring all the summertime marketing ad campaigns. Full of perfect, youthful energy and challenging (but not too complex) musicianship, these boys put their own stamp on all their songs. Over the course of these four songs the one constant feeling is that of optimism. There are upbeat, almost spacey Oasis moments as well as some Figurines-like guitar riffs. An EP made for spring weather.
A year later the Bombay Bicycle Club members went back in the studio and recorded the How We Are EP (once again, with Jim Abbiss). More than just honing their young musical skills, the boys also seem to have expanded their influential catalogue. "How Are You" starts things off with a fuzzed out wall of reverb just before they dive into their guitar pop. The reverb comes in and out throughout this EP. Collectively, these four songs still live in a high school world, but it's obvious they have gotten a little more comfortable in their skin as a rock band. Jack Steadman still has his wobble, but backs it with a bit better-deserved confidence this time out.
While they will never be accused of writing life-changing lyrics, what this band does have is control. They know when to pump up the energy and when to keep it hushed - and that's powerful... especially for a bunch of kids born in the 90's.
Bombay Bicycle Club Live