London based pop-punk four-piece The Other Ones join Reckless Yes for the release of their self-reflective and self-titled debut album, following their two self-released extended plays: 2017’s Perfect Girl, Normal Boy and 2019’s Picking Up the Pieces. The result is an evolution of the infectious sound they have cultivated over the past five years; a fusion of punk-rock riffs and melancholic pop influences, from Buzzcocks and My Chemical Romance to The Smiths and Kate Bush.
Introducing The Other Ones with opening track ‘Drown You’, bassist Vicky and guitarist Nick whet the appetite for the rest of the record with their unrelenting energy; the power (pop) couple’s distorted riffs offset against front-woman Steph’s and Nick’s spellbinding vocal harmonisation. Next, the cathartic ‘On Top of Me’ reflects on mental health and the struggle that we have all experienced at some point in our lives: “I wake up every day / I wish I could run away / You say it’s getting better / Why do I feel the same?”
‘Forever Young’ is another self-reflective track, this time nostalgic for younger, care-free days; oozing fuzz and swooning vocalisation. Shimmering pop-punk that is the perfect addition to your next mixtape! Relationships are explored next in ‘Money’ (“We never kiss / We never touch / We only talk about money!”), a track that drenches the listener in distorted sound. Originally recorded for their first EP, The Other Ones instinctively let loose on this reimagining; particularly drummer Francis with a thrashing percussive soundscape reminiscent of Jord Samolesky’s latter work in Propagandhi.
Slowing everything down for ‘Out of My Head’, scuzzy guitar riffs define the track’s soft-loud-soft dynamic, transitioning into the acoustic track ‘I Wish I Was Your Boyfriend’, where gender identity is left ambiguous. Raw emotion (and a spacey bridge) dominates ‘Better Off Alone Again’, whilst ‘Wasted Youth’ sees The Other Ones picking up the pace with Vicky’s throbbing bass-lines and a punchy drum assault from Francis.
‘Sad Case’ is yet another reimagining from Perfect Girl, Normal Boy, further showcasing Nick and Steph’s overlapping vocal abilities, but it is the title track, ‘The Other Ones’ that truly defines their impressive debut. Propelled by the scuzziest of riffs, ‘The Other Ones’ is a fitting anthem for the misfits of society – the freaks who won’t conform to societal norms – firing on all cylinders with a fierce, impassioned performance from Steph. Fuck all societal expectations to be a certain way… Strive for complete self-expression: “We are the other ones / We are the other ones / We are the other ones / We are not alone!”
Closing The Other Ones’ self-titled LP is the ethereal acoustic soundscape ‘I Think Too Much’; an unexpected, but welcomed, departure from the preceding ten tracks of energetic DIY punk rock.
With their debut, The Other Ones have delivered infectious hooks, emotionally-driven melodies, and enough feverish feedback to reinforce their underlying message: Fuck you to anyone who has ever told you that you’re not enough just by being yourself. “We’re the freaks and we don’t belong.”
Photo Credit: Keira Anee Photography