The 201 EP By Otherkin – Review
Dublin rockers Otherkin have achieved an awful lot in the two years since their inception. Having started as a quirky indie band with a knack for a catchy tune, they have grown into a more mature and competent grunge pop act. Having most notably released the cracker of a single that is ‘AY AY’, the band has made appearances at Electric Picnic, Longitude, and even featured on a Rimmel advert. After months of hype and momentum building up, The 201 EP is upon us.
Kicking off with the familiar ‘AY AY’, the volume starts at ten. Undoubtedly the band’s most successful tune, a seriously catchy main riff and a chorus made for the indie disco is what’s in store. Featuring melodies and guitar lines that would make The Hives blush, it’s no surprise they have earned international praise for this gem of a song. The first number on an album or EP always needs to be a hard hitting one, but placing what is probably the focal point of the release is a ballsy move.
Current single ‘Feel It’ comes next, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. However, it doesn’t quite pack the same punch as it does live due to the minimalist production. The guitar sounds a tad more ginger in the mix than it should, and overall doesn’t seem as fuzzy as usual. The rhythm section more than compensate though, as David Anthony’s hard hitting baselines drive every tune to the max. While the aggression of their live vibe isn’t quite captured here, the chorus shines through for the catchy melody it boasts, and will probably have you humming along after one listen.
’20 to 11’ keeps the momentum going extraordinarily, even if it does sound quite similar to its predecessors. This one is more intense than the others, with some awesome gritty guitar pedal notes and a slick drum intro from Rob Summons. The chorus is huge, with a monster power chord riff driving the song with the catchy ‘Oh no no, oh no no no no’ refrain from frontman Luke Reilly. This one actually feels like it was made for the moshpit, and does their live performances justice.
‘Love’s a Liability’ closes the EP, notably featuring some hot lead guitar work and a delightfully shouty chorus over some bangin’ riffs. As it is with all their tunes, the simplicity is key to the sound. None of these tunes are remotely complex, but it’s the attitude and small nuances in the likes of the frontman’s lilting vocals that give them the flair they have. Clocking in at roughly twelve minutes, the EP is over in a flash of crashing drums and uplifting riffing.
Otherkin have finally delivered a concise and accurate collection of songs that market them for the loud, poppy powerhouse of a band they are. While sometimes feeling like there could have been a few more guitar tracks on here, there isn’t much else to complain about. ‘AY AY’ is the definitive track of the EP for sure, but the others easily hold up, albeit being quite similar style wise. No nonsense rock ’n’ roll is what we expected, and we got just that.
Otherkin play The Grand Social on 6 November.