Album Review: October Drift – Forever Whatever

October Drift Forever WhateverOctober Drift

Forever Whatever

Words by Nick Jacques

The anticipation which this band have garnered over the past few years has been impressive to say the least. What I have noticed about October Drift is their distinct lack of social media presence which is virtually unheard of in this overloaded digital age which makes them all the more intriguing and as a result they have managed to build a fearsome reputation for their live performances.  When I saw them upstairs at the Hawley Arms in Camden Town a few years ago, people were literally swinging from the chandeliers!  This has seen them develop a cult following with consistent praise via word-of-mouth. They have managed to bag major support slots with bands like Editors and have already played the festival circuit, Glastonbury and Reading to name a few!

And so with that in mind, we are greeted with swarms of feedback on the opening of October Drift’s much anticipated debut album Forever Whatever and the effect is compelling as it drenches the senses. Thumping instrumentation collides with heavy, bear-hugging shoegaze distortion and tugs at the heart strings leaving a resonance that is deep and emotional too.  They possess a sound that is familiar but fresh at once. Throughout there are heavy nods to influences of White Lies, Echo & The Bunnymen, Bush (early era of course!), some sprinkling of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive thrown in too, amongst others from the similar genres.

Oh The Silence, latest single to be lifted from the album, shows they have a knack for making a gloomy yet catchy shoegaze anthem for the youth of today.  This track will be stuck in your head long after the silence has arrived.  The infectious and galloping Cherry Red is another highlight on offer here and cements the album’s potential to succeed here empathetically. 

Although amongst the layers of sludgy power indie rock they dish out, they also give us a glimmer of their softer selves with the stripped back flavour of Naked which is supported with strings, and gentle piano and soul- stirring violins.

The title of album track Cinnamon Girl excites me and at the same time worries me as I think it will be an attempt at covering a classic by one of favourite artists Neil Young; but I am more than relieved to hear its not and it really would have stuck out like a blushing sore thumb if had been! 

It’s hard not to appreciate the effort they go to impress with their stirring and uplifting brand of anthemic murky indie-rock anthems here. Just Got Caught is a prime example of this with all the swirling and disorientating guitars once again being let of the leash for the listener to get lost in their illuminating sounds.  

Title track Forever Whatever is destined to be a fan favourite with its accessible sing-along chorus although it feels like it’s over slightly a bit too soon. 

They have succeeded in channelling the energy and passion of their live shows effortlessly onto this album as closer The Past demonstrates accordingly. 

October Drift may be the best thing to come out of Taunton for aeons on this evidence, although the odds are not exactly stacked against them when you think about it. That’s not to say that Taunton is not without its charms! October Drift aren’t exactly breaking new creative headway with Forever Whatever but its more to do with the compelling sense of urgency they play with and how it engulfs you. 

Listen to Forever Whatever here

 

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