Essex indie quartet the Bohicas arrive with a tailwind of hype on their 2015 debut, The Making Off. Their double-A-side single "XXX" and "Swarm" (both included here) arrived in 2014, heralding their newly inked deal with Domino and introducing a band with a razor-sharp, guitar-based sound whose roots lay in big-budget early-2000s indie and garage. Aided by a trio of rock industry producers in Mark Rankin (Queens of the Stone Age), Chris Hughes (Tears for Fears), and Oli Bayston (Toy), the Bohicas turn in a solid, if somewhat commonplace first effort populated with plenty of punch, crunch, and occasional flashes of real vitality. A great deal of the Bohicas' energy is spent trying to maintain a convincing front of slick, dark swagger, but behind their bravado is a very nice sounding pop band with a strong group vocal presence. "Only You" highlights some of their best aspects by pairing cool-groove verses with a warm, sunny call and-response chorus chock-full of sweet harmonies. Opener "I Do It for Your Love" manages to overcome its clunky lyrics with a wiry intensity and some more of those nice thick harmonies supporting a strong, clever chorus. Elsewhere, they work on their laddish attitude and jagged guitar riffery to varying degrees of effectiveness, showing a clear debt to bands like the Arctic Monkeys and the Strokes. There are certainly enough inspired moments on The Making Of in spite of its shiny veneer and uneven makeup. In the right circumstances, the Bohicas seem perfectly capable of putting it all together, but overall, this debut could use a little more spark and a little less label-purchased leather jacket.
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger