the British IBM: Self Titled

From name through to the promo accompanying the self titled debut album from British indie band the British IBM, the references or inducements attempted by declaring an enthusiasm for computers from the band and of things retro for singer songwriter and band founder Adrian Killens is quite misleading. They may well be personal passions for the individuals away from and within the band but musically they have no bearing on the great sound to be found on the album. As retro in sound as an actual credible story line in Star Wars, the songs are a collection of fresh intriguing tales of everyday life and emotions brought through openly inviting sounds firmly set in the now. They are uncomplicated finely crafted pieces of indie rock which make no demands but leave one wanting more by their end, and no electronic gadget in sight in breath or noise.

With bassist David Martin and drummer Paul Richards alongside Killens, the band was officially formed in January of this year though the three had been performing and touring together for the past couple of years for Aidy the solo work of Killens. Recording the album with acclaimed producer Neil Rogers, the British IBM look set to light up the imagination of a great many with the release; with the quality of songs on offer it surely would be a real surprise if they failed to generate more than just interest.

The album opens with first single from the album, Animal. It is an immediately engaging song with guitars which jangle with warm teasing and shimmering keys which without standing out raise the temperature of the song. Like all the tracks it offers a gentle persuasion upon the ear but one which is as infectious as it is stylish and enthused. With the fine vocals of Killen a plaintive and expressive touch within the swells of sound, the song only fails in leaving too soon, its two and a half minutes an appetizer rather than a full feast to eagerly devour.

The tracks within the album also feature many guest musicians; the opener like a few other songs have Paul Goodwin on keyboard whilst the delightful Sugar Water features the delicious cello sounds of Anna Scott and the great backing tones of Lexie Green. The song is an emotive tingling caress upon ear and thoughts, its mellow kisses and lingering shadows as mesmeric as they are evocative and stirring. The track does not raise its energetic head at any point but basks in the warmth of passion and shimmering elegance. The following title track is the same with again the cello adding a dramatic whisper to the song whilst the jousting rhythms offer an unpredictable and energised vein to sway from within the melancholic embrace.  Both songs are wonderful and leave one glowing from their company.

The album does not always quite reach the same heights throughout though there is never any dissatisfaction or emptiness, the songs like Feeling and Good Afternoon not slipping because of any shortcomings but of the quality and impressive presences of those mentioned and tracks like Is It Too Late to Save Oscar Pike and the immense Cannibal. The latter of these two is a feisty stomp of sturdy rhythms and cutting guitar sonics whilst the vocals kick up dirt with their fiery intent whilst its successor …Oscar Pike, is a golden sunset of acoustic guitar and strolling dusky twangs, a delightful shimmering to bewitch ear and heart.

Completed by further impossible to dismiss or dislike songs like the almost belligerent 3 Years and the touchingly reflective God’s Front Porch, the British IBM have brought forth an album which relaxes the soul and lights the heart. It is a release which admittedly does not grab top spot in personal favourites but is destined to linger a lot longer on the heart than many other current releases.

RingMaster 29/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Categories: Album, Music

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