After a long three-year wait, British India has made a persevering comeback with their fourth studio album, Controller. And boy, have they been busy. After their previous label going bankrupt, building their own recording studio from scratch and cutting down the tracks from about 60 songs, British India have managed to produce an album that is refreshing, nostalgic and maintaining the same unique flavour of punk rock that they have emanated so well in the past.
Drummer Matt O’Gorman described the new album as the ‘greatest hits’ of British India over the past three years as they eventually found their new label, Liberation music, and started their own studio, dubbed Josef K after the secondhand car dealer next door.
“After Avalanches was released, things just happened.” Gorman said. “It’s kind of weird how the songs [on Controller] take you back to a period of time in the last three years or even longer. They definitely all have that kind of meaning.”
The album starts strong with the extremely catchy tracks ‘Plastic Souvenirs,’ ‘Blinded,’ ‘Summer Forgive Me’ and of course, ‘I Can Make You Love Me’, their single that managed to rank at #41 in the Triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2012.
The meaning of ‘Your Brand New Life’ and ‘Another Christmas In The Trenches’ seem to align quite significantly with what the band has experienced over the past few years. However, by the end of the album, there’s certainly a different feel from the grabbing beginning. In particular, ‘Crystals’ as a song is quite an outlier compared to the rest of the album with its restrained feel and calm tones.
British India is touring Australia and, Gorman says, he can’t wait to get back on the road with songs under their belt that the audience will hear recorded.
“For the last two years it’s felt like it’s been a bit of a stalemate. But now there’s a new album, new vibe, [our goal is] just to kind of keep the momentum going, go overseas and go around Australia…and for British India to slowly kind of get bigger.”
Listening to British India tracks often feels like you’re on a rollercoaster. One minute, you’re nodding your head, feeling relaxed and nostalgic. The next, you’re on your feet and head-banging with teenager-like angst. For those who have always been a fan of British India’s particular brand of punk rock, Controller will not fail to disappoint. It will make you feel hopeful, sad and incredibly energised all at once. I for one am glad to see them back, and better than ever.
British India is playing at the Metro Theatre in Sydney on Saturday 13th April.