If Otherkin can stop jumping around after the Republic of Ireland’s recent last-gasp progression from the Euro’s group stages long enough to take stock of their current situation, I’m sure they would be extremely pleased. Fresh from releasing the hugely successful EP ‘The New Vice’, and on the brink of a jam-packed festival season which is very likely to spread their name even further, things are looking good for this Dublin-based band. Another member of the Flying Vinyl new breed taking the world by storm, Otherkin have managed to nail a sound somewhere in-between punk and The Strokes. ‘The New Vice’ is a fresh batch of three minute hell-raisers for avid listeners to get their teeth sunk into, lets take a look…
We are immediately hit with previously heard single ‘I Was Born’; a song which, despite leading to comparisons being drawn to the styles of Julian Casablancas and Albert Hammond Jr, is said (by Luke Reilly; vocalist and guitarist) to have been inspired, at least in part, by the work of REM. Although ‘I Was Born’ has transformed through several incarnations since the original demo, this final product is sure to be the greatest of the track’s versions. Vital first line ‘I was born and I will die’ is possibly the bands most effective lyric; an extremely poignant statement; giving a simple look on life as a whole. ‘I Was Born’ is great both through earphones and (I would expect) live, and is a statement of intent for Otherkin, as it shows exactly what they’re about.
If you thought you couldn’t get any more ‘Otherkin’ than ‘I Was Born’, ‘Yeah I Know’ is there to prove you wrong. Short, to the point and driven by punchy drums and simplistic guitar riffs, ‘Yeah I Know’ even has the ‘oh-ay-oh’s that we have so far come to expect. That is not to say that this familiarity is in any way negative. Otherkin are a band who know their area of expertise and continue to produce music from within this field, ensuring success from the very beginning. So far we have seen ‘The New Vice’ cement the features of Otherkin’s music which have made them such a hit, it will be interesting to see if the latter half of the EP furthers this effect to an even greater extent.
‘Howling’, the penultimate track, tends to align itself more with the fun-loving, garage rock side of the band’s repertoire. The ‘ay-oh’s are back again in force, and full-throttle drum rhythms are once again the order of the day. Less gritty than ‘Yeah I Know’, and with more forward thrust than ‘I Was Born’, ‘Howling’ could attract Circa Waves listeners who seek a power and substance seen in the Summer favourite’s live performance, but which can be lacking through over production when listening at home. For all of you out there, Otherkin are here and ready to provide.
Finally, ‘White Heat’ closes off the EP in style. For such a short song, a cut out which reduces the song to its’ bare bones before bringing other elements back in is executed well.’White Heat’ is more content to sit back on itself, floating along at a natural pace-not dragging, but equally not rushing. An advert for the benefits of walking bass and few chords-‘White Heat’ is the final colour added to ‘The New Vice’ canvas; nothing outlandish, nothing wildly different, just good music.
This Summer could very well be a turning point in Otherkin’s career. Festivals have that kind of power-just look at the unprecedented rocket which was Royal Blood’s career a couple of years back. What next? A new and exciting single?? A follow-up EP??? Or even an album?!?!?!? We’ll have to wait and see, but surely this wait won’t be long, as creative minds such as are possessed by these talented young lads are very hard to suppress.