Awash in layers of echo and a foggy atmosphere of ennui, ‘Bond’ is an indie rock tune that sounds like the surf crashing on an empty beach.
Another band to fit into the popular ‘Based in Leeds / Formed in Uni’ sub-category, Askies are certainly able to differentiate themselves. Their songs aren’t so much about intensity as groove, less about heart-on-sleeve choruses and more about cryptic ear-worms.
‘Bond’ is emotionally evasive and opaque in its intentions. The baritone of George Harris sounds terrific and particularly so in the chorus, where his crystal clear delivery rubs against slashing guitars. The contrast between the emotion of the lyrics and the chill of his delivery provides the intrigue.
But to go this far without mentioning guitars when talking about an indie rock band seems like poor form. Josh Steptoe achieves a chiming effect here which gives the song its unique sound. There’s a swaying and almost tidal feel to the guitar tone even when the playing (particularly in the chorus) is energetic and purposeful.
What makes ‘Bond’ such a rewarding listen is how each member of the band is able to plug something into it. The beat is tight but intricate, and the bass manages to work an upbeat groove that doesn’t throw off the wonderful atmospherics the band are able to capture through production and tasteful application of delay.
Great use of negative space is made in the chorus, where the last few measures are left bare. This adds to the sensation of distance (the song is about a breakup after all) and the fuge-like atmosphere. The only time Askies pierce the fog is in the bridge. The instrumental breakdown here is absolutely top class, and reminds you that the sparsity of their arrangement is a deliberate choice – they can jam as well as anyone.
Follow Askies here.