The seeds sown by The Strokes Is This It have taken root. Otherkin wear their influence proudly. Luke Reilly's Julian Casablancas-style vocals are shouty and affected in the same manner as the New Yorkers’ frontman. Combined with the relentless insistence of the rhythm section and the Albert Hammond Jr-flavoured lead guitar, the Irish quartet emulate their predecessors right down to the smell of dirty leather off the tunes. The New Vice is four tracks of three minute rockers played with everything turned up to 10. The sound of their youthful energy aches to be heard live. The visceral thrill of the driving tunes demands animalistic dancing and general jumping about. Reilly, Guitarist Conor Wynne and bassist David Anthony met in Canada while they were all in Toronto in 2010. They were joined by drummer Rob Summons in 2012 to complete the line up of Otherkin. They have been balancing music and studying for the past few years and the buzz in Ireland around them has been growing steadily. The launch for this EP in Whelan’s last month sold out way in advance and they are confirmed for most of the major festivals around the country.
But they have bigger markets to conquer now and their sights are set on the UK and Europe. The band are fresh out of college and have wasted little time. The New Vice comes only six months after The 201 EP. They have a hectic schedule of festivals and European jaunts ahead. They played Leeds & Reading last year and in January were named as one of the five best bands at the annual Eurosonic showcase in the Netherlands.
‘Howling’ harks back to their previous EPs. It is appropriately named, full of “Aye-aye-aye”s and “Ay-oh, ay-oh”s. Current single 'Yeah I Know' is a wicked tease. The verses ratchet up the tension and then pull the rug when you expect it to explode. 'White Heat' alters the tempo and structure that the rest of the EP has set. It is playful and spacious.
Their youthful exuberance and the toe-tapping nature of the music mask the emptiness of the songs. The lyrics appear to be cut-and-paste and, if there is any meaning to them it is well hidden. No two lines bear any obvious relation to each other.
The New Vice is very like The Hives’ Your New Favourite Band. It will sound good on a night out in your local indie bar after a few drinks but the next morning in the cold light of day, the throwaway sloganeering and soulless chanting will fail to make any lasting impact. Otherkin look the part and have nailed the raucous pop rock sound. They have everything in their favour, they just need to work on their songwriting.
19th May – The Great Escape, Brighton (Artrocker @ The Latest Bar 8.30pm)
20th May – The Great Escape, Brighton (Music From Ireland Showcase @ The Prince Albert 1.30pm)
11th June – This Feeling at Nambucca, London
12th June – Isle of Wight Festival
3-5th July – Rock For People, Czech Republic
15th July – Longitude Festival, Ireland
16th July – Latitude Festival, Suffolk
17th July – Beatherder, Lancashire
29th July – Leefest, Kent
30th July – Leapoolooza, Cornwall
26th-27th August – Reading & Leeds Festivals