British India first appeared on my radar back in 2007, when I was in my final year of high school and in the process of having my heart shattered into a million tiny pieces for the first time. Teenage heartbreaks are ugly and Guillotine provided an excellent soundtrack to my alternating bouts of tears and blind rage. The songs were short and punchy, but the lyrics had enough of a melancholic twinge that I felt like ‘he got it, man.’

Fast forward through a few more albums and my teen angst has subsided somewhat, but I still love the “love-found-then-lost” lyrics coupled with the fuzzy guitar and Declan Melia’s howl, so I was excited to listen to their latest offering, Nothing Touches Me. It’s a slightly different sound for the band and, I can’t lie: it disappointed me a little.

The album is mellow and slow to start and while the lyrics are still a highlight, much of the record lacks the bite that made their earlier work so great. Part of this can probably be attributed to ageing – the band released their first EP in 2005 and you can only maintain the rage for so long.  However, much of Melia’s vocal strength lies in that soaring yowl and, in an attempt to cool it, the band loses some of its edge.

BUT, it’s not a write-off. The album is really solid, and when it hits its stride in the second half, it’s quite good. The title track is a stand out, as is ‘Departure Lounge.’

British India might not be the band to get you through your teen heartache any more, but that’s OK. They’re still good and still provide an excellent soundtrack for mourning lost loves –  but it’s a more subtle mourning; alone and dateless, in your mid-twenties with a glass of wine and a cheese plate.

Alex Johnson


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