Cheltenham-based indie rock trio, Indigos, dropped their self-written and self-produced debut album at the end of last month, and introduced a greater audience to the band’s sound.
‘Always. Whenever’ is an album that wears its influences on its sleeve; their sound is derivative of many of the successful bands that have come before them. The likes of Kasabian, Oasis and The Courteeners are just a few of the bands echoed in their heavy, full-bodied indie rock sound. They don’t fail to bring a fresh take to the table, however, and the band do well in reimagining the music they are inspired by, and in doing so they come up with a new spin on the genre.
The band is made up of front man and guitarist, Darren Belcher, bassist, Tony Capaldi, and drummer, Casey Griffin and, since 2018, the threesome have been mostly doing covers. It was only when lockdown hit in 2020 that the band was properly formed - mainly out of a desire to kill the boredom created by not playing gigs - and they began to work on an album.
The album itself is well constructed, especially given that it was self-produced, and Indigos do a good job in showcasing their sound within the format of a full length album. It sounds more like a body of work, bound together by similar sounds and themes, than it does a collection of singles. Every track here sounds at home, connected by a common core sound. There’s no obvious weak link either, suggesting that a degree of consideration went into choosing the track list.
Lyrically, Indigos walk on well-trodden themes; touching on those of longing, boredom and disenchantment. The lyrical highlights come on the slower songs; ‘Sing Your Own Song’, for example, highlights the importance of individuality in a world where it’s often looked down on while ‘Hope’ depicts the emotions felt when in need of someone’s support. ‘This Town’, meanwhile, features some of the best lyrics on the album and depicts the experience of living in a forgotten urban town and knowing its fate to be sealed. The track does well in painting the scene and will undoubtedly resonate with any listener who grew up or lives in a similar place.
Musically, the album offers an energetic, powerful and robust take on a genre that once dominated the British music scene. As mentioned before, the influences behind the band’s sound aren’t shied away from. Tracks like ‘Shine The Light’ and ‘Comply Or Die’ are largely reminiscent of Oasis; with the former’s guitar licks and the latter’s Gallagheresque vocal, while ‘This Town’ showcases echoes of The Courteeners and ‘Hold On Tight’ nods in the direction of Catfish and the Bottlemen. They still sound fresh, though, and it’s the band’s blend of genres that allows them to do this.
The freshness of Indigos’ sound largely comes from the injection of punk and pop punk influences. The choppiness of the punk-inspired chord progressions present on many of the tracks give the album a kind of excitable edginess that keeps it from sounding too derivative. I think the fact that there’s only three band members helps with creating this feel too; each element injects its own energy and the simplistic instrumentation (derivative of classic punk) keeps the sound tight.
There are also echoes of pop punk on the album too and, at times, it sounds like the kind of thing that would be created if Debbie Harry and Noel Gallagher decided to form a band. For me, the track ‘Sing’ showcases this blend of indie rock and pop punk best; with Belcher’s dragged out and anthem like vocal being backed up by his start-stop punky guitar riff, while the album’s title track lays bear the band’s classic punk influences.
Though many of the album’s tracks sound well constructed and fresh, it’s the title track that is the stand out. The band released it prior to dropping the full album, and, for me, it sums up everything good about the band. As mentioned above, the track showcases the blend of classic punk rock and indie rock brilliantly; featuring an energetic guitar riff, driven percussion and vocals that fall somewhere between Nirvana’s Cobain and Kasabian’s Meighan.
Overall, the album does a god job of showing off Indigo’s sound and shows them to be a well practiced and confident band. The anthem-like-choruses, excitable chord progressions, as well as the band’s ability to take things down a notch or two, lead to the conclusion that the album would achieve its best sound in a live setting. It seems like poetic irony then, that a band formed in the midst of a national lockdown, will sound at it’s best whilst performing outside of one. Seeing Indigos live is something we at Our Sound Music can’t wait for.