EP Review: Otherkin – The 201

The 201 EP

otherkin 201Words: Gary Feeney

From the minute I clicked on Otherkin’s Soundcloud page to listen to their The 201 E.P, I had a reasonable idea of what to expect from their profile picture: all leather jackets, sweaty hair and bare chests, they look every inch a band from the same cloth as acts like the Libertines and the Strokes. As a big fan of such acts, this was a promising sign for me.

This first impression of the Dublin four-piece was confirmed from the opening bars of the opening track, AY AY. Opening with scuzzy power chords which are soon joined by a driving drum and bass line and a snappy, half-snarled vocal, those initial references are unavoidable, but far from sounding like a pastiche of their influences, it’s an irresistibly catchy tune that you can’t help tapping your feet too and is an impressive opening to the band’s recording career.

The 201 hurtles in to Feel It, a song which adds a grunge feel to the punky rush of its predecessor and once you notice this, it’s an edge that is more prominent the more you listen to the full release and there’s no let-up with 20 to 11 and the closing Love’s A Liability either.

The former is probably my favourite from the E.P, a chaotic, ramshackle affair that musically calls to mind the Strokes circa Room On Fire and is the kind of song that you can imagine being an absolute joy being performed in some sweaty basement; however, it does face strong competition for that accolade from Love’s A Liability, another raucous number a sing-along chorus featuring the delightfully sardonic line “I’m so bored with you/love’s a liability”. It’s a joyous end to a joyous, 4 track frenzy.

If it sounds like I’ve made too much of comparisons to older acts, this is not meant to be a criticism or give the impression that The 201 is just a rehash of a handful of other bads – far from it. Personally, I don’t see the problem with a band wearing their influences openly and certainly not when they have songs of this standard; it’d just seem like ignoring the elephant in the room not to point out the obvious comparisons here.

If you expect originality, virtuoso instrumentals or profound lyrics from every song, Otherkin probably won’t be for you, but if you’re like me and can’t resist the pull of a no-frills, good-time rock’n’roll band then you’ll have these songs stuck in your head for a long time.

Listen to The 201 EP here:

 

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  1. […] such release, The New Vice. I really enjoyed the previous EP (which you can read about on Popped here) and since then, a bit of a buzz has begun to grow around the band, not least due to their by all […]

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