The Bohicas are living proof that even in 2014 there is still room for post-punk revival music if it’s done right. Their self-titled debut EP contains only four songs (only one of which makes it to the three-minute mark) and is supposed to be a preview of their forthcoming full-length debut, but by itself it is a solid taste of what this East London quartet has to offer.
Crush Me centres around a guitar riff that initially sounds good but becomes tiresome very quickly. However, there is one high-pitched guitar part that weaves in and out of hearing and is the best part of the song. The lyrics are a bit too melodramatic to like, but the backing rhythms do their best to sell the power. Second track XXX is probably the best song on this EP. The sinister bassline sets the tone for a song as sleazy as its title makes it sound, with vocalist Dominic McGuinness singing in disaffected deadpan about a vicious breakup. The emphasis on an infectious bassline in combination with shrill guitar is enough to invite favourable comparisons to seminal ‘80s punk outfit Wipers.
Bloodhound is the longest track on the EP and is a little less moody than the preceding track, though it grooves along just as nicely. Its greatest strength is definitely the harmonising on display in some of the choruses, plus the guitar solo is a definite highlight. Swarm is a good closing track and features great guitar work, while McGuinness demonstrates his range as best he can in what’s probably the most vocally complex song on here (also the only one not about a relationship, but more about the narrator’s coping with addiction and refusal to “join the swarm”). It comes very close to beating XXX as the best song on here and it’s no surprise that when the band needed to release a single they simply combined those two tracks and released them together (I’m not sure why they weren’t sequenced back-to-back on this release).
As of writing, there is no confirmed release date for the Bohicas’ full-length debut, but if this EP is any indication then it should be worth the wait. Being just over eleven minutes in length means there’s barely any wasted moments on here. The lyrics could use some work, but musically the songwriting is largely interesting. Hopefully they can maintain this kind of momentum over the course of an entire album.