Indian School

The Cruelest Kind EP

Written by: TL on 10/03/2013 18:50:37

There are some songs that when you hear them, you instantly know not just here you have a hit, but also that you're listening to a band that has the necessary confidence in their own style, that they will likely never release an album that sounds out of focus or amateurish. Yet when you hear some songs and you hear them from new bands, you're also instantly forced to worrry if this is going to be the band's one hit wonder - the one stroke of luck they will never be able to consistently live up to. Such a song is "Rob Your House", the fourth song on "The Cruelest Kind", last year's debut EP from Rosemead, California-based Indian School.

Indian School is actually made up of band members from late punk band Audio Karate, reunited when frontman Arturo Barrios - after going years of not writing music - got back into it when he was bedridden for months following a car crash. And "Rob Your House" then, is their new signature song if you ask me, because from the moment the steady beat starts the song along with ringing, stadium friendly riffage, to when Barrios cries out the catch-phrase with his drawn-out, indie/rock'n'roll vocals that remind me of guys like Julian Casablancas or Johnny Borrell, the song just fits in the winner category like a square peg in a square hole.

So the pressing question is, how does the rest of "Cruelest Kind" measure up? The answer would be fairly well, with opening duo "Elvis" and "Wind You Up", also being catchy numbers in their own right, establishing the band's sound as a light-footed, retro rock'n'roll much in the veins of The Strokes, Razorlight or Cold War Kids. Especially the latter bids in as a likely secondary highlight, with its mellow coolness also reminding me a bit of Mystery Jets.

"Cocktail Flu" on the other hand, appears to me like a good example of weaknesses Indian School has yet to outgrow, trying at a slightly more hard-rocking punch, but only coming off a bit long-winded and indulgent, rather than particularly effective. Combining with the two last tracks "High Low" and "Bowerbird", this trio rounds off the later half of the EP in a slightly disappointing way compared to the first half, making me feel like Indian School could have done with working on the songwriting just a bit longer. If they can strike a vein of creativity and squeeze out some more nuggets like "Rob Your House" and "Wind You Up" however, I see them potentially gaining more attention fairly rapidly.


Download: Rob Your House, Wind You Up
For The Fans Of: The Strokes, Razorlight, Cold War Kids, Kings Of Leon

Release Date 25.09.2012
Animal Style Records

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