Since their beginnings in 2009 Irish rock band Stay Okay! has been on a steady strong ride of attention and acclaim leading up to their debut EP Time To Grow. The quartet wowed audiences as Dublin took them to their hearts with further afield in Ireland following close behind. There has been a deliberate and even pace to the band’s evolution as they formed and defined the sound that they knew was them using a constant attack of gigs to not only amass a firm underground following but also shape what they were creating. Released January 16th Time To Grow is the first step in bringing the band into wider seas and an immediate wave to grab and earn more than a passing glance.
Stay Okay! play music that is from the heart with accessibility from open melodies and eager hooks that smile and wink at the listener as they lay an invitation at their ear. The bands passion and emotional intent from song and lyrics is obvious and at times as infectious as the rock/pop sounds that leap from the EP. The tracks within Time To Grow connect without tearing down walls and leave an unforgettable reminder with their addictive flavours and energy. Though it would be fair to say the band have still probably further travels on their journey to find a distinct sound that lifts them clear of the rest the release shows they are heads above a great many and has marked them for a close and enthused attention ahead as they develop further.
Opening track ‘Lay Your Worries To The Grave’ thrusts its broad shoulders through the ear with pounding rhythms and urgent riffs and energy. To be honest the track at first was not as immediate to engage as the subsequent tracks. It bristles and pulses with great intensity and attractive melodies but the vocals from Tim Chadwick in the slower moments felt disengaged to the song, like they were in a parallel version. This sounds worse than it is and only meant the song had to woo a little which it ultimately did with ease after a couple more plays.
‘Towards the Finishline’ takes over with an increased adrenaline and hypnotic charm and emerges as the EP’s best track. With a punk edge and flowing burst of teasing guitars from Irtiza Malik and pulsating basslines from Alan Ferns the track is a winner from the opening chords. Chadwick gives an intense vocal delivery to enhance and thrust forward the lyrical content. Here and throughout the release the drums of Kevin OShea punctuate and punch the song with control and skill completing a display of four musicians in confident ability and sureness.
The remaining two tracks lower the pace a touch but increase the emotive feel oozing from song and vocals. ‘My Day’ wraps itself around the senses with warmth and attentive care. Still buzzing with more moody basslines from OShea and striking guitars from Malik the song shows a wider flare from the band as it expresses more open emotion than before. The same can be said of closing track ‘Time To Grow’, a slow heartfelt song that expands upon the senses with an array of arresting melodies and vibrant energy. Chadwick unleashes full range of his ability and shows he is an emerging vocalist to take note of and gives intrigue as to his approach in ‘Lay Your Worries To The Grave’ when his delivery was not as fluid and instinctive as on all other three tracks.
Time To Grow is an impressive debut and clear indication that Stay Okay! will be repeating the success in their homeland across the UK and beyond over the coming months. With tour dates planned to support the release 2012 should be a big one for the band and an increasing amount on new eager ears to their sounds.
Check out the Time To Grow EP @ http://www.stayokay.bandcamp.com/