Why? Why, with the virtually limitless musical and creative boundaries that mean almost anything is possible, do bands still feel it’s necessary to strip-mine the past without ever straying from those oh-so-restrictive boundaries? It’s something to ponder when listening to Indigo Bones, the Hull trio whose self-titled debut EP is yet another release that’s trapped in a perennially stale timewarp with no inclination to ever leave.
But credit where it’s due – there’s at least more to Indigo Bones that the majority of their peers. Sonically, they tap into more garage rock influences than straight-up blues-rock, meaning they’re more in line with a poor man’s Royal Blood than another poor man’s Led Zeppelin and that’s definitely preferable. Chris Welburn’s vocals are a lot more strident and personality abundant as well, as when the two factors click as they do on opener Vertical Sleep, it can actually be pretty enjoyable.
That’s really the only time that happens though; everywhere else, Indigo Bones feel as though they’re overcompensating too much, usually by trying to be more technically proficient than they actually are with the end result being overly messy. The worst instance of this comes in Delicate, a track that tries to incorporate some shards of prog but feels as though it clunkily shifts between time signatures and doesn’t sound good at all. Silver Nosebleed suffers a similar fate, though the dirged-up garage-rock fuelled by bassist and co-vocalist Mark Swan’s rougher tones feels a bit too garbled and lo-fi to make a suitable impact.
Compared to other bands of their ilk, Indigo Bones are nowhere near the worst given that they actually try to engage with something a bit more technically savvy, but it doesn’t feel as though they know what to do with it half the time, and with a style that’s essentially beige by design, they don’t stick out in the wider world in the same way they do amongst their own scene. If this is the direction that Indigo Bones think will be most productive then more power to them, but in reality it’ll only take them so far.
For fans of: Royal Blood, The White Stripes, The Virginmarys
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Indigo Bones’ by Indigo Bones is released on 16th December.