From Manchester, UK rockers Our Innocence Lost is a band with a difference. They robustly incite and flare up the senses like many other quality bands but surrounding their heavy forceful riffs and direct and far reaching melodies there is a passion and personality to their sounds which few other bands can bring as readily and consummately as the North West quartet. The music comes from beyond the heart, the band putting their soul into the eagerly absorbing creations they produce. Their new and second album Like A Complete Unknown is the perfect proof of their natural and organic use of this heartfelt emotion. It is taken and blended into an infectious melodic rock sound that never stands still, forever provocative and always trying new diverse ideas.
Formed in 2006 Our Innocence Lost has taken the UK by storm up and down its length as well as venturing over into the United States to great effect. Critical acclaim surrounded the band with the release of their debut album Facts Called Fiction via Sideout Records of Japan in 2008, the country alerted to a fine emerging rock band which was emphasised and built upon by a 36 date UK tour with American band Darling Waste and sharing stages with the likes of Voodoo 6, Glamour Of The Kill, Jody Has A Hitlist, Dear Superstar, Reckless Love, My Passion and Kiros over the past two years. Written and recorded during 2011 at Patron Studios with producer Elliot Middleton, Our Innocence Lost has unleashed in Like A Complete Unknown, an album which takes you to its heart instantly. It is a strong successor to their debut and more importantly an impressive continuation of the bands maturity and songwriting ability.
The album offers a heady blend of songs spawn from the flavoursome mix of alternative rock and post hardcore sounds that have evolved over the past years. From the opening Worthless it attacks with a surety of a band confident in its path and skilled in its ability to get there. With sturdy riffs and attitude soaked vocals from James Holman the song plunders the ear with a defiance and strength which is impossible to resist. The guitar of Tom Crane is inventive as it leans on the senses with a striking melodic energy ably supported by the stirring bass of Steve Taylor and drummer Johnathan Kendrick, who constantly demands attention with his muscular beats.
One of the things that has grown within the band in the recent years is the harsher side of their sound, the post hardcore intensity raised to form a tight contrast and companion to the melodic prowess the band possesses. Holman growls and expresses a caustic malevolence at times which is an opposite extreme to his excellent clean vocals. It works impressively with the band using both spectrums seamlessly and always at the moments a song needs it. Shout It Out is a perfect example. It is a song which engages the ear through mesmeric melodies and calm emotion but then removes the safety net with harsh interventions that stir things up wonderfully, expressing the lyrical turmoil to great effect. The song has led many people in eager anticipation for this new album, finding repeated airplay with the likes of The Reputation Introduces Radio Show. The song also raised expectations for the future which have been answered and surpassed with Like A Complete Unknown.
The songs come thick and fast in power and emotive creativity. The likes of the excellent End Of Time with a glorious bass led mid section where the band unleash their ability to out rock any band metal or other, the impressively diverse monster How Soon We All Forget, a song which easily combines a towering intensity and hard riffs with caressing smooth melodies, and the metal guided hard rock glory of Thank You take the album to distinct heights. It is a thoroughly consistent album too, from the more urgent strikes from songs like Breathe Deep and Over And Over to the inventive and exploratory sounds of the power ballad like Damaged Goods and Last Goodbye, the album never fails to bring a deep satisfaction and pleasure.
It is hard to pick any holes in the release apart from maybe an initial similarity which runs seemingly across it. Close attention shows that it is not so and there is a deep wealth of sound and variety within its walls but that initial impression does deceive quite strongly. Like A Complete Unknown is an excellent album from one of the very best emerging rock bands in the UK, do yourself a favour by taking a listen.