As rowdy and raucously rousing as it is melodically becoming and hook compelling, So Far, So Good is the debut album from UK punksters OUT OF LOVE, a band which if, like us, you have somehow yet to discover ensures that once heard they cannot be forgotten.
The album is an encounter bursting with punk rock goodness delivered in grungy aggression and pop punk dexterity, a confrontation taunting our resistance failing ears and body. It is a release uniting the band’s previous pair of EPs with a standalone single from last year and three brand new tracks, a kind of round-up of past exploits and the doorway to new adventure and an introduction to a band which going by their sound so far is all creative agitation and fire.
2020 saw the band release debut EP I Am Not Me, its successor coming the following year and both continuing the stirring of keen attention in fans which the first EP’s single/video S.L.U.M.P first sparked into action. It is inevitable to feel that as more ears find OUT OF LOVE on their radar through So Far, So Good, the band is heading to a big even break-through year, the album’s songs ‘old’ and new exercises in demanding attention.
It is S.L.U.M.P which opens up the record and reveals a sound which as previously described is a grunge kilned, pop infused punk rock roar, one bristling with the noisiness of Reuben, the aggression of McLusky and the virulence of Max Raptor. The track immediately strokes ears with noise crusted guitar, erupting into a rapacious stroll with continuing eddies of guitar bursting across a moody bassline and punchy rhythms. There is an urgency and discontent to the song which is echoed in Jack Roger’s vocal dispute, the song a clamorously striking start to the album.
The potent beginning is raised another notch by I Am Not Me, the sinister resonance of Ricky Clarke’s bass instant compulsion. The animated beats of Don Pearson similarly draw enthused focus and movement as the guitars of Dan Marsh and Kev Mac spin a web of intrigue. Inevitably the initial disturbed calm erupts, an aggressively catchy pop punk-esque chorus ablaze within the song’s blossoming adventure and emotive anxiety. The track is superb, favourite track honours given before All Grown Up shares its emotive and sonic tumult. Again though, within the noise haze there is melodic and pop rock infectiousness which simmers and frees itself to get under the skin as keenly as the track’s more irritable inventiveness.
From the metallic clang and psych rock shimmer of the pop punk infused noise holler of My Perfect World, the bracing sonically swirling exploits of Play Pretend, and Wishlist with its galvanic punk ‘n’ roll uproar, the album raised the antic in addictiveness. Each bears great sonic rapacity through the guitars, they springing intoxicatingly corrosive squalls of lip licking irritation over rampant and manipulating rhythms.
The pop dexterity of Hello Trouble ensured attention and involvement was just as inevitable, the song bearing a volatility which continually seeps into its melodic and emotive enterprise while Dog Daze brings that great sonic din in the band’s sound into a clutch with old school punk enticement to keep the pleasure aflame.
We mentioned some bands which came to mind across the album and as each track played we found a great Everclear-esque aspect to the band’s sound no more welcomed than within See Right Thru before those new songs reveal the fresh growth in the OUT OF LOVE creativity.
Bedbound is a rich flush of melodic and sonic contemplation, a relatively calmer proposal than the previous tracks but thick in its emotive and physical intensity with a fiery vein in poppiness while Sniffin Glue erupts in a cauldron of sound and intent, sounding like a bridge between their early sound and the new blossoming stoking the fires of next up and the band’s latest single, Pity. It has a trespass of a sonic haze which maybe clouds the band’s rhythmic force though without truly hiding its dexterity yet it is claustrophobic drama which hit the spot.
With ears ringing, the album ends on the great slab of punk rock that is Kill Song, a predator of a song with sonic guitar lashes and melodic singeing to its rich tempting. It is a compelling end to a greedily pleasing release. So Far, So Good maybe our overdue introduction and wake up call to OUT OF LOVE but one which we have relentlessly devoured like the growing crowd around us.
So Far, So Good is out now via Venn Records; available @ https://outoflovepunk.bandcamp.com/album/so-far-so-good
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Pete RingMaster 18/04/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review
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