By Ted Jachimowicz
The Bohicas’ released their debut album The Making Of on August 21st. Hailing from the UK, where they’ve already made quite a name for themselves, the band describes the album as “two full barrels worth of electrifying tunes and crackling 21st century rock and roll.” After listening to the album a couple of times, it’s difficult to disagree with that assessment. It becomes obvious very quickly that this is a band that knows its strengths and knows how to write a song that people will like, and almost any song on here could be used as a single.
The album opens up with “I Do It For Your Love,” featuring a steady driving bass and drums, frequent instrumental breaks and a vocal harmony and feel that’s reminiscent of early Stone Temple Pilots. “To Die For” features Zeppelin-esque guitar riffs, and a guitar solo that relies more on feel than on overdone effects, which is refreshing to hear in this day and age. The high point of this song is the drum and vocal bridge that culminates in a proclamation that the singer was fooled “like a bank robber with a fake gun,” which I will openly admit to singing to myself for a couple of days after I first heard it.
“Only You” is a little slower than the previous two, and gives you an idea of what The Beatles would sound like if two of the members were replaced by members of the Arctic Monkeys and no one told Paul McCartney. They pick the tempo back up a little with “Girlfriend,” where the bass plays a more prominent role and stands in heavy contrast to the guitar, which sounds high and loose and focuses more on leads. The fast paced vocals of “Where You At” make you wonder where exactly the singer finds the time to breathe. I just wish it was easier to understand what he was saying because I want to chant this to myself when I’m walking down hallways so people will get weirded out. The high point of this song is the Incubus-style breakdown near the end.
“XXX” is another song that would be really fun to see live. The song possesses a minor scale bass line. an almost rapped vocals by the singer in the verse, interesting guitar effects, and something about that guitar reminds me of The Grateful Dead, which is something that I don’t think an album like this would be complete without. It’s the “almost experimental song” of the album. The single for the album, “Swarm,” features a music video which I can only assume is the kind of thing Nicolas Cage has nightmares about. The song itself is fast-paced, with a lead guitar line that sounds like being stuck in a swarm of angry wasps and desperately trying to escape. The music video features the band playing in an alley way while a swarm of people in bee colored clothing run past. It’s truly horrifying on an existential level, and not for the squeamish, but the buzzing guitar line throughout the song is a really creative and awful touch.
“Red Raw” is probably the slowest song on the album, but it maintains the rawness and grit that have encompassed the rest of the album so far. The opening riff of “Upside Down and Inside Out,” the penultimate song of the album, once again reminds me of something Mike Einziger from Incubus would play, but this is something I will never complain about. The album goes out with a bang for the final song, “Somehow You Know What I Mean,” which is the longest song on the album and features an extended dueling guitar solo similar to the one in Coheed and Cambria’s “Welcome Home.”
My one complaint about this album is that there is a lack of variety in the song structure. The tempo and time signatures and keys don’t deviate very much from song to song, and at first listen this can lead someone to think that all of the songs sound the same, almost like dancing with someone who only knows a few very impressive moves and keeps repeating them for the entire night. It would have been nice to hear them do a slower song, or something in a different time signature, but what this album lacks in variety it makes up for in catchy hooks. This is a band that definitely knows how to write a single.
There are some albums that try to cover way too much ground and end up confusing the listener, and at first listen this album is on the exact opposite of that spectrum. The similarities between each song play to the bands strengths, and what they have, they have a lot of. I would recommend that anyone who likes their rock music to be a throwback to the 70’s and 80’s check this band out; they will not be disappointed, and we can expect a lot from them going forward.