Bombay Bicycle Club’s “Everything Else Has Gone Wrong” Has Gone Wrong

Bombay Bicycle Club in 2014. Photo by Richard Isaac/Lnp/Shutterstock (3960228cc)

Bombay Bicycle Club has made a comeback after six years with their brand new album, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong. It’s got that reliable indie sound with some fresh new tunes, but to use the band’s own words… everything else has gone wrong.

At its core, this is a nostalgia album. It’s a record that yearns for the easy breezy indie days of the early 2010s. Everything is comfortably in 4/4, the guitar licks are crispy and simple, and the lyrics are optimistically reflective. There’s none of Billie Eilish’s angsty anxious cries or Lana Del Rey’s crushing hopelessness. This is an album for Bombay Bicycle Fans who welcome indie nostalgia. It is not going to gain the band any more fans.

The record’s titular track is exceptionally dry for a single. It has none of the vavavoom of the previous albums. It’s repetitive, simplistic, and Jack Steadman sounds bored singing his own lyrics. It is a sign of a group that is moving backward and not forwards.

The album’s penultimate track “Let You Go” is one of the more interesting tracks, only it fails in new ways. It sounds like the band is trying to cram too many ideas into one song, which does little to redeem the rest of the record. The addition of female vocals is a nice idea but the addition of the synths feels more random and out of place than bold or experimental.

Highlights of the album include “I Can Hardly Speak” and “Do You Feel Loved?” They are both solid nostalgia tracks that encapsulate an open field and glitter paint. It’s the music of a teen’s first festival back in 2013. And if there is room for that in your life now, there is hope for the rest of the album.

Generally speaking, there’s just not enough passion for the album to make it memorable. Steadman sounds bored and the melodies are often stale and don’t really go anywhere. There’s not really enough to work with to warrant a comeback and ultimately, a nostalgic indie album is not the way to kick off the new decade.

2/5