Pretentious’ art-rock has, for the most part, been shunned by both the mainstream indie press and indie artists over the years in favour of heavily formulaic sounds and attitudes. It’s a scenario which, perhaps, has led to some bands trading creativity in return for credibility. Flicking through history, it may only be Blur (with their ‘Blur’ album) who were able to experiment with the indie sound and retain their indie membership.
Taking up the challenge of experimentation, Newcastle garage/noise-pop band Bakers return with their new album ‘Restless Legs’; seemingly an attempt to wrap indie song structures in loud guitar fuzz, inject a sense of humour, and then return them to the indie crowd to lap up.
Opener ‘Demolishing the 4th wall’ kicks the album off with a vault of guitar feedback reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. It’s an incredibly ballsy (if not to say impactful) way to start an album and shows serious musicianship.
Bakers continue to open-up the indie sound across the whole of ‘Restless’. Standout track ‘Write home’ manages to blend a ‘wooh hoo’, Edwyn Collins, style pop chorus with the spikiness of the Cribs, and ‘Minus Knees’ takes a Sonic Youth soundscape and wraps it around what could have been a standard indie track; this is what the Wedding Present might have sounded like if they’d been given more guitars and distortion pedals.
We must give credit also for the humour inside the album; perhaps none more so than on my favourite song title ‘Sorry about your parents. Batman’. If the tunes don’t melt the indie crowd, the humour will.