Article by KevW
In the lead-up to the release of the second album by Cambridge band The British IBM, we suggested that a group as good as this should perhaps be shouted about a little more than they have been. So, with that album, 'Psychopaths Dream in Back and White', out for all to hear, is their status likely to be raised? If it is then the difference will, sadly, be negligible (although we hope we're wrong). This isn't because they haven't delivered, this is a quite beautiful album, but it could be that their pristine take on guitar-pop isn't cutting-edge enough for certain factions of the music press, and maybe they're not clean-cut enough for others.
Yes, 'Tread Carefully' and the jaunty 'Hey Mickie' are fairly middle-of-the-road when it comes to indie music, but they're excellently crafted. Other songs such as 'All The Time' and the orchestral 'Just Get By' will have a better shot at turning heads, but with such a saturated market it can be difficult to shout loud enough. 'Nothing Ever Lasts That Long' is classic retro pop, and it's followed by the more experimental 'Evolution'. Finding any filler at all on this record is something of a challenge with perfect indiepop such as 'Silver Cigarette Case' popping up throughout. It's rock-solid in terms of quality, and makes you want to grab the music industry and shake them until they listen.
Music history is awash with great bands who never quite made it, despite the fact that they clearly should have done, and it would be a shame if The British IBM became another of those, because 'Psychopaths Dream in Black and White' deserves better than it's likely to get. It only takes one person in the right place to pick up this record and give it the platform it warrants, or perhaps a breakout hit could do the same job. There are a few contenders here, and you'd have to say that 'We Were The Stars' is a song that many groups would dream of writing. Whether this becomes a hidden gem or makes that breakthrough might not be known for a while. The British IBM may not be a household name just yet, but they haven't half made a cracking album here.
The British IBM's website
Stream or buy the album
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