Release Date: Aug 21, 2015
Record label: Domino
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Back to the future. Again. If you could go back in time, most people would buy a major stake in Facebook. London’s The Bohicas, however, sound like they’d take a Black Keys album back to 1967 and turn the tripping hippie shag freaks on to the testes-scorching power of modern blues rock..
Essex four-piece The Bohicas are very clear in their own mind about what genre they belong to; they are a rock ‘n’ roll band pure and simple. Ever since Dominic McGuinness (vocals), Brendan Heaney (drums) and Dominic John (guitar) came together as school mates over their shared love of The Beatles and The Kinks – as well as acts such as Kings Of Leon and The Strokes from the early 2000s – it was clear what direction they would be going in. Things really started to click into place for the band, previously known as Swanton Bomb, just over three years ago when bassist Ady Acolatse became the final piece of the jigsaw.
“You’ve heard it all before but baby we’re just to die for,” drawls one of the choruses here, a bullish sales pitch for the Bohicas’ music in general. The Essex quartet strive for the surge and swoon of rock’n’roll and aren’t remotely fussed about breaking new ground. There’s an undeniable thrill in the high-velocity charge of tracks such as Swarm, the kind of pell-mell riffing indie moshpits were made for, and Red Raw does a good job of channeling the sludgy paranoia of stoner rock.
Earlier this year, when talking about his band’s single ‘To Die For’, Bohicas frontman Dominic McGuinness told NME, “There’s one bit about a fake gun and that’s the only bit that lyrically for me is any good or exciting, so we underlined it with a four-part harmony. ” McGuinness’ apparent lack of enthusiasm is reflected in the entirety of debut album ‘The Making Of’. The Essex quartet are all leather jackets and open shirts and align themselves with the grimy aesthetic of graphic novels like Sin City, but dig underneath the riffs and saucy swagger and there’s not a lot going on that’s particularly exciting or more than just ‘good’.
Not every band find themselves the subject of a film before their debut album has arrived. With the June release of a tour documentary made by the people behind Blur’s No Distance Left to Run and LCD Soundsystem’s Shut Up and Play the Hits, you’d expect the Bohicas to be fairly remarkable. Set that assumption aside for a second. The Essex four-piece’s blend of riff-heavy, bluesy indie and garage-rock recalls the Dandy Warhols’ spark, but is hardly revolutionary.
Essex indie quartet the Bohicas arrive with a tailwind of hype on their 2015 debut, The Making Off. Their double-A-side single "XXX" and "Swarm" (both included here) arrived in 2014, heralding their newly inked deal with Domino and introducing a band with a razor-sharp, guitar-based sound whose roots lay in big-budget early-2000s indie and garage. Aided by a trio of rock industry producers in Mark Rankin (Queens of the Stone Age), Chris Hughes (Tears for Fears), and Oli Bayston (Toy), the Bohicas turn in a solid, if somewhat commonplace first effort populated with plenty of punch, crunch, and occasional flashes of real vitality.
The Bohicas are the kind of band that aren’t supposed to exist anymore. An out-an-out, by the numbers indie rock band with no psychedelic, baggy or Fifties edge, the four-piece from Hainault, Essex feel like an entirely unappropriate fit in the modern musical landscape. In a sense then, their debut album The Making Of has the potential to be somewhat refreshing.