Otherkin – ‘As A High’ EP – Review
In a recent conversation with Dublin Concerts, Otherkin opined that their music would be heading in a heavier direction. Their new EP, ‘As A High’ certainly sees them taking steps down a grungier path and it makes for an impressive addition to their rapidly growing canon.
The opening track ‘SLN’ is the heaviest of the three tracks on offer here. There are echoes of Pearl Jam in the intro before the song kicks into a hypnotic, swampy groove that drifts over Luke Reilly’s laid back vocals to form a heady brew of wonderfully fermented noise.
It’s the stand out track of this offering and it’s no surprise to hear that this will be the lead single off the EP. There’s a video planned which is to be directed by Narayan Van Maele, whose previous credits include excellent work with Sounds of System Breakdown and Heritage Centre amongst others, and is based around a ‘wacky idea’ the band have, so it’s sure to be worth a watch.
This video will be released on 27th March to coincide with the launch of the EP, which takes place in The Grand Social. Support on the night comes from New Natives. There are also DJ’s playing afterwards until well beyond the witching hour so 27th March is sure (to paraphrase a certain former England football team managerial candidate and his shiny suit wearing son) to be a top, top night for Otherkin fans.
While SLN is the standout track, the other two songs are far from filler. ‘As A High’ is a nice take on the well worn loud/quiet/loud dynamic. Staccato bass and drums dance merrily over the vocals in the verses before the drums and strident strumming usher in the choruses. This all leads to a swirling, psychedelic crescendo which brings matters to a satisfying conclusion.
‘Ego Mud’ closes out proceedings with its Talking Heads style guitar intro leading into an Editors meets Pumpkins romp. Reilly’s vocals are nicely embellished with just the right amount of reverb and the song displays Otherkin’s impeccable grasp of song structure.
What’s most impressive about this EP, and the rest of the band’s material to date, is that while it’s easy to pick out their influences as you listen to their music, Otherkin have managed to meld these influences together to create their own unique sound. Even at this early stage in their career, you know straight away that you’re listening to an Otherkin song even if some of the newer work is a bit heavier than the older stuff.
That’s a rare quality in a new band and it should see Otherkin safely along the upward curve on which they seem to be heading. The band are cautious when asked about an album release but with so many great tunes in the bank already, a long player must surely be in the offing soon.
Review by Mark O’Brien