The first two tracks of EP Dumbstruck are mixed by Chris Sheldon, whose CV reads like the track listing for an indie rock compilation album. That’s an excellent clue to what the Dacoits are all about: indie rock in the Nineties/early Noughties style.
Lazy reviewers will immediately seize on the resemblance between PJ Harvey and fragile-looking frontwoman Carrie Rossiter, but Harvey is just one of many interesting influences thrown into the Dacoits mix. The chunky basslines of opener Home by twelve recall the Pixies, one of the many bands Sheldon has worked with, while elsewhere it’s possible to hear echoes of Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins and other grunge heavyweights.
The dark undertones of Dumbstruck also owe a lot to Garbage, and it’s no accident that the Dacoits invite comparison with other bands catapulted into the spotlight by charismatic women: Portishead and Sonic Youth are just two that spring to mind. It’s inevitable that Rossiter will be the focus of attention as the band become more famous, which might mean that the rest of the band is unfairly overlooked.
Overall, the sound is an exciting return to the days when indie was genuinely alternative. The Dacoits might just be the band who can rescue indie rock from the Coldplay clones. The debut album is due for release later this year, and I’m very excited about hearing it.