WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM FROM OCTOBER DRIFT – “I DON’T BELONG ANYWHERE”
Latest album release titled “I Don’t Belong Anywhere” from South West based rock band October Drift is a temperamental explosion of furious guitar and despondent lyricism.
Finally, critically acclaimed and prominent band October Drift who garnered a respectable reputation for themselves early in their career with their 90s grunge fuelled sound and energetic live performances have unleashed their second album “I Don’t Belong Anywhere” into their discography. Kicking off with a bang on the bitingly sarcastic and raging opening track “Airborne Panic Attack” which uses a catchy rhythm and anthemic chorus to hook the listener October Drift begins the album with what is arguably one of their strongest tracks to date. The following track “Waltzer” is a more formulaic and pop rather than grunge influenced number, however, showing off some charming melodies. Despite the slight genre shift with the same gloomy and hopeless lyricism the general angsty mood of the album doesn’t shift and adds to its conceptual image of frustration with the modern world and dissatisfaction with interactions with others.
Arguably, the best tracks on “I Don’t Belong Anywhere” are the ones that lean into the 90s Nirvana influenced grunge sound. A good example of this as well as the opening track is the song “Insects” a despondent and murky track that uses a tense chord pattern and rhythm to create a sense of desperation that explodes into a cataclysmic, electric guitar charged ending. Another track that stands out in this regard is “Bleed” which not only incorporates grunge but gothic rock and shoegaze into its genre influences creating a captivating and haunting track with a great build-up that is only rivalled by the similarly structured track “Ever After” which sees the band delving deeper into the shoegaze affected soundscape.
Throughout “I Don’t Belong Anywhere” as musicians October Drift consistently prove their ability to create bleak yet catchy tracks that can enchant an audience. It’s no shock that the band have earned themselves so much credit from their live performances with their anthemic melodies being incorporated into the most otherwise depressing of tracks.
This being said there are brief moments of hope on “I Don’t Belong Anywhere” such as the comparably light-hearted song “Feels Like I’m Home” which lyrically tells the story of finally finding a sense of belonging in the world. Despite the album title and the band’s general aesthetic, October Drift isn’t all doom and gloom.
Although there are some outstanding tracks on “I Don’t Belong Anywhere” the album does feel a little predictable as it continues relying mainly on the same themes that October Drift has always been familiar with. The closing track “Old and Distant Memory” feels duller than it does heartfelt as the repetitive nature of the track distract from some beautifully poetic lines and fails to end the album with the same bang it started out with.
With some tracks such as “Airborne Panic Attack” or the rock concert ready and crowd-pleasing “Lost Without You” October Drift set a high standard for themselves which they fail to consistently meet. A lot of the tracks on the album have a similar song structure and follow the same theme in the lyricism, some of the tracks off “I Don’t Belong Anywhere” feel so similar to each other they’re almost repeated such as “Bleed” and “Ever After”. Whilst all the songs stand up by themselves as a full listening experience the album doesn’t feel as diverse as it could be. With the concept behind the album and lyrical themes being so similar to that on October Drifts debut “Forever Whatever” the instrumentals on the album should really be more varied and explorative than they are.
Whilst there is a lot of space for more exploration and surprises and the energy and passion is there in the music, October Drift seem to find themselves stuck in a comfortable routine. At this stage in their career this is something they should be breaking out of more. As long as they push themselves to do this, nothing will stand in their way.