Black Rebel Motorcycle Club once asked the question of whatever happened to their rock n’ roll. This was way back in the mists of the early twenty first century, but it has felt over the last 20 years that as a notion the former axe-wielding behemoth has been shifting from crisis to crisis, happy boxing itself in to ever more constraining niches.
Thankfully there’s a grand old tradition to follow in South Wales of bands who’ve been happy with a little subversion of the cliches whilst still kicking out the jams motherf*cker and on Black After Dark the Swansea foursome Bandicoot happily throw themselves into that ring. Drawing on Bowie, Britpop and the white powder chic of the Big Apple in the early noughties, it’s a plan not short of ambition – and that they get anywhere near pulling it off is a triumph in itself.
Leather kecks might be a bit over the top here unless you’re Bobby Gillespie, however on opener Siren, Mynedfeydd and the Bends-esque There’s A Light In Everyone the strut and microphone grabbing seems strong in these ones. Dig a bit further though and the real thrill is in Train Station Mural, sax-laden jangle that proves whatever happened to whatever it is, it certainly ain’t dead yet.
You can read a full review here.