Van, Bondy, Bob and Benji have created the best piece of raucous, indie rock feel good music this year with their second album ‘The Ride,’ follow up to 2014’s stellar debut ‘The Balcony.’ The album has a gripping appeal with a really vivid, exciting quality; it’s proper heavy indie rock which is really aimed at young people. It’s almost frustrating reading the more negative reviews from older writers when the album is clearly aimed at young people- the quality and tone of ‘The Ride’ is fresh and blunt, with roaring choruses and catchy and sexy riffs. The lyrics focus on love and lust and cigarettes, and although they aren’t deeply poetic or metaphorically lyrical, this doesn’t necessarily lessen the quality of the album. I’ve seen so many negative reviews, describing the album as ‘lazy’ and ‘unimpressive,’ and to be honest these reviews have really annoyed me; the album’s not meant to be a nice album that everyone gets and likes, it’s meant to make young people get up and drink with their mates and go out to gigs and go mad, that’s the band’s aura. They don’t claim to be the world’s best band, but they don’t need to say that for their thousands of fans to know that actually, they are.
The guitar is ridiculously catchy and Van’s voice has this really edgy, raspy bite which has grown and developed so much since their debut. Bondy and Benji on guitar are truly fantastic as well, with some great riffs which will be filling out stadiums in no time, made perfect by Bob’s brilliantly skilled drumming. But the band haven’t completely changed since ‘The Balcony’; ‘The Ride’ has simple riffs and not overly complex lyrics, but it works brilliantly. It’s simple, proper rock music with a great feel good vibe. Some tracks are heavy and loud, perfect for moshing; the band’s live appeal is undeniable and tracks like ‘Soundcheck’ and ‘Twice’ have been going down incredibly at the band’s recent live shows, with crazy sweaty moshing and circle pits. But they also have a softer, more delicate sound which they showcase beautifully in tracks like ‘Heathrow’ and ‘Glasgow.’ Overall it’s a striking, vivid album with a great pure authentic indie rock edge to it. The band had built up such a huge hype for the album and they have 100% delivered.
Top tracks: ‘Postpone,’ ‘Oxygen’ and ‘Outside’