It’s a change of direction from the London rockers.
Returning from an indefinite hiatus, Bombay Bicycle Club were welcomed back with open arms when they made their live reunion in July 2019. The announcement of Everything Else Has Gone Wrong received the same warm embrace but the delivery may have given fans the cold shoulder.
2019 single, ‘Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)’, offered the nostalgia that we desperately longed for, and a grain of hope for unchanged direction for the album to come. The title track, ‘I Can Hardly Speak’, and ‘Is It Real’ all stand strong beside the timeless BBC capsules that came before. Flakes of doubt appear with the anticlimactic, monotonous trod that is ‘Racing Stripes’ and concerns are affirmed as the rest of the record ensues like a derailed Polar Express.
Everything Else Has Gone Wrong could benefit from some Marie Kondo wisdom to declutter and make sense of the curious ideas and elements the band have crammed into the tracks. ‘People People’ and ‘Let You Go’ are suffocated by deafening synths that reduce the lyrics of unrequited love to emotionless puddles.
There are, however, fleeting moments of sheer exquisite delight, in the shimmering ‘Get Up’ and ‘Good Day’ but as a BBC fan, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong is perhaps most frustrating in that it leaves a sense of uncertainty moving forward.