All hail our new Indie Overlords, Swansea’s Bandicoot. Not “small to medium-sized, terrestrial marsupial omnivores in the order Peramelemorphia*” but Rhys Underdown (guitar, vocals, saxophone and keyboards), Billy Stillman (drums), Tom Emlyn (vocals, guitar and keyboards) and Keiran Doe (bass). ‘Dark Too Long’ is their debut single for the mighty Libertino label and the band describe it as a “frenzied cry of desperation from the depths of excess and loneliness, influenced by the driving rhythms of NEU! and Can.”
‘Dark Too Long’ comes on like a cross between the rumble of Judas Priests ‘Breaking The Law’ and the tuneful rock swagger of any Thin Lizzy banger, and you’ll need to secure your seatbelt before listening as this is a demolition derby of a track. Brace yourself for the thrill of some crash, bang chaos and the possibility that a wheel might come off or the car will end up on it’s roof. This is a thrilling slice of indie-rock that has adrenaline and aviation fuel coursing through its veins as it tumbles around, crashing together guitar riffs with thunder-drums and some hot sauce from the saxophone. You get a sliver of breathing space in the middle-8 but the swish of high-hat is soon bulldozed aside for a huge pile up of everything smushed together in a glorious tangle of instruments and voices.
On the strength of this release Bandicoot are definitely a band to watch and the propulsion ‘Dark Too Long’ provides should help speed them around the UK, post-lockdown, as venues clammer to book them.
Review by Paul F Cook
*It’s always exciting for me to learn a new word and when reminding myself of what a Bandicoot looks like I discovered Peramelemorphia. Could this be a daring title for their first album but it should also be noted that Bandicoots have something common to marsupials: a bifurcated penis. You’re welcome.