Releasing their debut album Pink Palms within a period in which music can be, at times, deficient in standout creativity, The Bots seem to have a bit of an idea of what they are doing. The Los Angeles duo The Bots is composed of brothers Mikaiah Lei (lead vocals, guitar, bass) and Anaiah Lei (drums, percussion). Having self-released three albums prior to Pink Palms, the spunky L.A. boys have been creating music since they were 15 and 12 years old. While still on the brink of adolescence at 21 and 17 years old, the Lei boys have a mature grasp on what does and does not make good music; decidedly, The Bots focus on what does create an enjoyable listening experience, as Pink Palms is a surprisingly strong debut endeavor for the Los Angeles teens.
According to The Bots’ website, the Lei boys are strongly influenced by Arcade Fire, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, and Bad Brains, “to name a few”; this is highly significant, as it marks an era in which up and coming bands are being influenced by the still touring and album producing alternative music staples that are still fresh themselves. The Bots not only borrow guitar riffs, vocals, and lyrical styles from these artists, but also slyly sneak in audial references to other prevalent modern day alternative artists such as The Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Beach House, and even the likes of Sonic Youth and Jimi Hendrix.
Big names, right?
Right. But, mind you, The Bots borrow resourcefully like the emergent artists they are. Sneaking in some bluesy vocals here, turning up the punky, fuzzed distortion of guitar riffs there, and even sprinkling tidbits of Bloom-esque electronic beats from track to track, The Bots create a cohesive soundscape mindful of their favorite genres of music. The standout track from Pink Palms is “All I Really Want”, with the near-frantic spoken words resonant of Daydream Nation, alongside the jarring guitar complimenting Mikaiah’s gutsy vocals. “Blinded” reminds one of a more juvenile version of “R U Mine?” off of The Arctic Monkeys’ publically acclaimed 2013 album A.M.; once again, not a bad artist to be compared to—especially as a first effort.
When a person normally thinks of a palm tree, he pictures a tall, leafy tree gently waving somewhere near a beach where the sun has begun to set, which casts rays of pastel orange and pink across the horizon and into the ocean’s lapping waves. But when listening to Pink Palms, I picture a small, dingy music club surrounded by cigarette smoking adolescents, a neon pink palm sputtering and buzzing vibrantly above their heads as the club’s emblem. The Bots are an upcoming band of importance for the rising generation of angst-ridden teens growing tired of putting their Clash albums on repeat. While still a minor indie voice in the world of music, The Bots are a glimpse into the near future of what music will become. The Bots have very large shoes to fill for their upcoming years, especially with the title “most likely to succeed”, acknowledged by Rolling Stone Magazine; I, too, am looking forward to what The Bots will bring to the table.