As I get my first taste of emerging four-piece indie band Aboriginals, I am instantly brought back to my childhood. When I was a child, I listened to a lot of rock bands like Kasabian, The Fratellis, Greenday, Bowling for Soup and The Subways that I discovered through my father’s music collection. This was before I knew they also originated in East Ayrshire, where I used to live as a child. Aboriginals is made up of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Calum Brown, lead guitarist Andrew Hyslop, bassist Craig Jamieson and drummer Andrew Pick. Bands that they say inspire them include greats like Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and Queens of the Stone Age. Somewhere in this mix, I’ve found the bands I used to know and love as a kid.
Their opening song “Won’t You Be Mine” has had some radio play and is my favourite song out of the five. It’s the best song to start with for various reasons, as it lets the listener know what characterises Aboriginals’ sound: its strong drumming; its layered distorted electric guitar, which pairs a single note line with the rhythmic chords. The songs are vibrant and energetic. “Cordelia” and “In My Mind” have hints of pop-punk, whilst “Figment” and “Not Young Forever” is grungy and gruff like early Offspring. I love hearing an authentically Scottish singing voice, as too many singers Americanise their voice for various reasons. Calum’s voice is very natural, and keeps its Scottishness without leaning too much into it.
My gripe with this EP is that there isn’t much range, as far as I can hear. An EP should be varied. You should be able to recall each individual song from the EP as songs, so you can recognise them on the album when it comes out. I shouldn’t come away wishing I didn’t listen to each of these songs back to back. Aboriginals’ sound is enjoyable, and it’s something I would love to listen to live. As a warm-up set, they have some really killer tracks that could pump a crowd up and get them excited. They will need to show more of their repertoire before they fill out a full show. Infinite Cinema could have done with a track or two that contrasts. Most of the tracks on the EP have a similar tempo and timbre, which left me zoning out the last two tracks. Not because the songs themselves weren’t any good, but because I’d heard something like it before. Something slow, intense, or acoustic may have mixed well with the energetic sound Aboriginals has.
Despite my personal problems with it, the tracks individually are very replayable and enjoyable. It’s worth bearing in mind though, they haven’t released a full-length album. They are a young band, who are only going to grow and get better from here. I look forward to seeing what they take from the feedback they’ve received into their future work.
I could see a potential future where Aboriginals achieve mainstream chart success. Their music cannot and should not be described as pop, though. It’s reminiscent of the kind of indie rock that was most popular in 2000s, which could make a comeback in later years. In a culture where we yearn for nostalgia, we want to escape from the present day and remember times that felt better in our pasts. Maybe it was the kind of music you used to hear at the student union, or the kind your kid plays in their bedroom. Maybe it was a song you heard on the radio at a good shift at work, or surfing through YouTube music videos as a teenager. Maybe it was listening to your Dad’s CD collection on the drive to school. It’s all down to you, and your experience what you will find.
Infinite Cinema was released 6th August. If you’re interested in buying the EP, click here.
Or, if you want to give them a few listens beforehand, you can check it out on their Spotify or Soundcloud. If you’re interested in hearing them live, keep an eye on their social media:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/aboriginalsband
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/aboriginalsband/