December 19, 2009

Mod-A-Day: The Bishops

It dawned on me today that I've been doing the mod-a-day posts for nearly a year and haven't highlighted The Bishops. So, I'm rectifying that little mistake with this post about one of the best contemporary mod bands around.

The Bishops are twin brothers Mike and Pete from London and got their start back in 2002 along with drummer Chris McConville. The trio have released a number of singles, and now have two solid LPs to their credit.

Kicking off their 2007 self-titled debut was "Menace About Town", reminiscent of both The Monkees and The Tell Tale Hearts, and that was followed by the driving, power pop of "Breakaway", and then the powerpop stylings of "The Only Place I Can Look Is Down". In just three short songs the band staked claim to the sixties as one of their foundational influences, as well as proving they had more modern, indie rock cred as well.

Their sophomore effort, For Now, came this past year and didn't disappoint. It is smoother, and shows signs of maturity, but without losing any of the intensity that The Bishops brough to their earlier work. The album is lighter, sharper, at times a bit softer, and at the same time has a more rockin' feel to it with lots of melody. It's got more modern echoes than their debut as well. Where the influences of The Who, The Hollies and The Jam were front and center before, here there is a bit more of a Britpop sound with tastes of everything from Blur and Oasis to Ordinary Boys and Kaiser Chiefs. There is more orchestration, which at times makes the album seem more poppy and less garage like. The band rides this change with super tight musicianship and an overall professionalism that definitely moves them from the bush leagues to the big show.

The Bishops -- City Lights

The Bishops -- Breakaway