Despite any flourishment, indie rock has always been marginalised by many as something fragile and tepid. However, from the depths of a genre too often redeemed as perished, is the golden acre of music- bands such as Bradford based The Mexanines, who draw upon that sacred feeling for those who crave the forgotten art of rock and roll. The band un-coil and transform their songs into a powerful substance- you just need to listen to single ‘Fires’ to get a grasp of their ability to un-ravel a song into something majestic and put an elastic groove on the predictable.
A key element to this band is the eye for detail, the crushing riffs in ‘Shimmer’ might turn heads, but its the dynamics of ‘7:13’ that really hold the attention. Still, The Mexanines have the attitude and look to engross any wavering crowd- headline slot swagger combined with a genuine appreciation for anyone listening. There is a lot to be said about a band who have enough charisma and confidence on-stage to draw in a big fan base whilst supporting a notoriously energetic band such as The Pigeon Detectives. Check the band out on BandCamp for golden gems such as ‘Hold Tight’ which starts off in a deep manner, engraving your eardrum with lead singer James Brander’s encaptivating voice, before exploding into a gutsy and grooving beat. Without meaning to speak too rashly, very few bands today have The Mexanines ability to duck and dive into different rhythms so fluently, finding the right balance between heritage rock and finger snapping grooves. So easily do bands slip into a simple and safe way of playing on stage, whereas The Mexanines strive to ensure the crowd are kept on their toes from the offset, seemingly working on a back-drop of a variety of genres.
Brimming with bluesy over-tones, the band has an aura of late, summer night introspection vibes combined with good old-fashioned belt-your-heart-out feelings of love, and its hard to know which is more beautiful; the cutting vocals or how easily it is to slip unknowingly into the stomping bass lines. Onstage, there is a lot going on, but somehow it works. The band even come accompanied with a saxophone, adding an edge which helps separate them from the classic indie sound. Even at their simplest, this is a band that is highly effective- for example, ‘Night Eyes’ has a simple ‘sing-a-long’ melody, but is delivered in such a passionate way it is hard not to be absolutely devoured by it. It’s songs such as this one that give them festival potential, an essential grab-your-friends tune.
Open a front page of any alternative music magazine these days, and you will be windswept with questions such as: ‘”Has there ever been a worse musical climate to be a guitar band in Britain?”- with pop music fastly becoming the biggest genre in mainstream, the underground bands which hold so much talent easily become over-looked, but for those who know, the music is there and more brilliant than ever. Bands such as The Mexanines are upholding the true ideal of music, and keeping live music venues rooted in their grounds. They highlight the fact that we must keep fixated on these hidden treasures because they are certainly worth a listen to.
Follow The Mexanines on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to keep updated with their live shows and treat yourself to ‘This Is Not A Formal Event’ on BandCamp. The band are due to play Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, North Yorkshire with The Tapestry- purchase tickets here