The most recent offering from Oklahoma’s Other Lives, is a blend of both confusion and curiosity. An eerie presentation that often lacks any imaginative spark is the unfortunate outcome on Rituals. Tracks like ‘Easy Way Out’ and ‘2 Pyramids’ display the band’s potential while any real substance or hint of dominance remains absent. A strong country and western influence has crept onto the album and makes full use of haunting backing vocals and bizarre melodies. Other Lives have embraced an electronic partnership with folky string arrangements and at times it works well but sadly it somehow remains monotonous.
The tracks throughout the album seem to blend together and individually, the song’s characteristics and their own identities never seem to completely flourish therefore creating a background music effect. This is a quality that for many, is best avoided and for many others, unavoidable. There is a concealed Radiohead connection embedded within the foundations of these songs with lead vocalist Jesse Tabish, presenting similar vocal work to the likes of Thom Yorke. This isn't something that works negatively for Other Lives as the bleak and foggy sound is something that has naturally been made their own on Rituals.
Other Lives have produced an album that is neither a masterpiece nor a complete shambles. It sits unnervingly somewhere between the two, and like a tug of war, gets pulled back and forth throughout never really knowing where to become static. Sadly, its finishing position moves closer towards the shambles side of the line due to its undersupply of compelling, distinctive songs. If this was an aspect of the album that was better executed by Other Lives, Rituals could have told a completely different story. Unfortunately it doesn't reach out, grab you and require full attention which is a shame because there are times during the album where Other Lives fall just short of radiance.