Long distance relationships are not what they used to be. Blanca Transfer are the kind of band that could not have existed twenty years ago. With their singer Derek Corr living in Madrid and drummer Ricky Ryan and bassist Keith Colville living in Ireland, theirs was a sound born on the fibre-powered freeway. Through an exchange of demos and ideas via social media, the band found their sound.
This, their debut EP entitled ‘Why’, is a short, sharp slice of electro-indie. The excellent Braves sets the tone, falling somewhere in the sweet spot between the Big Pink and Depeche Mode. This is followed by the Klaxons-like Good Old Love Song which makes the most of Corr’s distinctive vocals.
For the second half of the EP the electronics take a back seat to the guitars. Inside the Borderline is a bit by-numbers compared to the inventiveness of the preceding tracks, and never seems to take off. It sounds like a guitar track got lost in the mix and was never found. The riff-heavy closer Why?, comes as something of a surprise, sounding not unlike early Foo Fighters, and showing off the breadth of Blanca Transfer’s range. There is surprising space in the song given the density of instrumentation on the opening tracks which comes as some relief. Unfortunately, a high pitched synth line arrives over the middle third, intruding on this space, and sounding out of place.
A DIY ethic was never going to work for this trio’s aural ambitions, with the array of electronics on display and a suitably glossy production gives the entire EP a professional sheen. It would be interesting to see how this would translate to the stage, especially considering the band list themselves as a standard triumvirate of guitar-bass-drums. On the strength of this showing, their first full length LP should be a treat.