Album Review: British India – Vanilla EP

By on Wednesday, 3rd November 2010 at 12:00 pm

Listening to the title track to British India‘s new EP reminded me of the first time I ever listened to the Libertines. Like you had just discovered the most amazing thing. It starts softly, introspective…Oasis? There is melodic guitar and melodic lyrics. But then the guitars and drums lay into you. There’s a palpable “we don’t give a…” in them as lead singer Declan Melia’s more powerful vocals come in like thunderbolts with the chorus, which sounds worthy of a stadium. One day, maybe…I imagine there’s a reason why British India is called Australia’s hardest working band. They sound polished.

And to be honest, except the rare quieter moments, this EP is mostly a full-scale flogging of the listener’s ears. I’m imagining this is what people thought when they first queued up Led Zeppelin’s ‘I’ on the record player. It’s loud, it’s in your face, yet there’s a melody down in there. I like! The screaming guitars in ‘Because of You’? Yes please.

Happily, the guitars are darker as the Melbourne band crashes into ‘Safari’. Yeah, definitely feeling a Libertines vibe, possibly even an Arctic Monkeys one. Another track, ’90 Ways to Leave Your Lover’, is no doubt a poke at Paul Simon. Thirty-five years later, I guess there’s triple the number of options do the dirty deed. “I can’t let you drink alone…” is repeated emphatically, presumably to give a reason for a ‘temporary romance’. Hmmm…I think with the right mindset, we could persuaded. Couldn’t we, ladies?

All I can say is…bloody hell. This aggressive rock usually isn’t my sort of music, but wow, I am really digging this kick in the arse to the current music scene. Oz is knocking on the door, and the music industry should answer.


Catch British India on tour in the UK this month. A full-length album called ‘Avalanche’ from where these tracks were taken from was released in Australia in May.

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