We Review the New Album from The Otherness – LMIRL
‘LMIRL’ is an energetic and playful album that brings 60s rock guitars to meet modern rock music. Grounded in the familiarity of their sound, The Otherness play with your expectations of each song, making ‘LMIRL’ a frenzied listening experience. High production value and raw guitar solos stands out from this album, but at times the energy feels relentless and perhaps the album lacks some diversity. But what they miss in versatility they more than makeup for with great songwriting. Throwing catchy hooks and melodies at you, backed by lush harmonies that call out to their Beatles influence.
The album opens with ‘Few For the Stew’, an early single in the album’s promotion. This track is a bright and mild opener, with chorus vocals that make me think of a grown-up Busted. A total guitar-led track, the influence from The Beatles is abundantly clear on this track, which sounds both retro and modern in a funny sort of way. ‘Few For the Stew’ is a great set up for the rest of the album which is about to get very energetic.
‘Fix and Fuss’ and ‘She Feels the Soul’ blow away the cobwebs with their volume and energy. These two tracks let us see the heavier side of the band’s repertoire, while showcasing their personalities. You feel like you get to know them better in these two songs, which both make me want to jump around and shout along. I would usually cling to lyrics but the raw energy of these tracks, especially ‘She Feels the Soul’ more than makes up for the low vocal level. ‘Fix and Fuss’ is carried by the frenzied guitars which are rooted by the driving bass and percussion.
‘Feedback Calling’ gives us a more classic rock and roll feel. This song maintains the energy of the last two tracks but at a slightly more laid back pace. ‘Feedback Calling’ is a real toe-tapper of a track with really lush backing harmonies and choppy guitar riffs.
Things start to get more silly with the next two tracks on this album, which I actually love. I like the whimsical nature of these two. ‘Bit of Fun’ has a relentless energy until we get to the Doo-Wop section in the middle. This break comes out of the blue, and this random addition brings a smile to your face and serves to emphasise the fun personalities on show throughout this record. Fun and a bit silly are keywords here. Distorted guitars slap you in the face as raw punchy vocals come bursting through at the start of ‘Give That Face’. The guitar licks and solos are reminiscent of Icelandic rock band Kaleo in this song. On it’s first listen I didn’t get a really cohesive sense of this song but after a few listens ‘Give That Face’ really grew on me with it’s fast pace and distorted vocals.
We get a welcomed change of pace with ‘Quarter to Nine’, a song which leaves plenty of room for the vocals, although the lyrics feel rushed at times. It is hard to actually make out the lyrics which is a shame as they are a main feature of this track, but the guitars shine through ‘Quarter to Nine’ creating a really good feel to this song. On the first listen ‘The Roundabout’ didn’t really catch my attention, but on further listens this became a favourite from the album. ‘Quarter to Nine’ had a real feel-good feeling, and delivered great rock and roll with a modern twist. Good vocal melodies make this track stand out.
Next up is ‘Your Carnival’ which is aptly named thanks to the almost country rock guitars that meander through this track. I really wanted more of the vocals in this mix and I think something is lost from this song as I just couldn’t make out all the words. A fantastic addition is the barbershop quartet style backing vocals in the chorus, and the structuring of this one makes it feel like you have actually been on a journey with a travelling band or carnival. ‘I Bet He Knows’ gives us a completely different feel to any of the other songs on this album, something which is really welcomed. The obvious presence of the keyboards create a new space in this album, but the guitars and backing vocals keep that cohesive album feel and tie it all back together. The opening and closing guitar riff brought ‘Make Me Smile’ to mind, which is no bad comparison. ‘I Bet He Knows’ doesn’t necessarily deliver the strongest vocal performance but that doesn’t seem to matter as this one feels like a more guitar driven track.
‘Isn’t It Amusing’ is another single from the album’s promotion and was released to a great reception from fans. It is easy to understand why this has become a firm favourite from the minute it kicks in. Bright and lively, this upbeat track encapsulates everything that is great about this album. Strong guitars, memorable melodies and fab harmony parts. An awesome guitar solo completes this energetic song.
And this all brings us nicely along to the album’s closing song, ‘Gotta Go. This final song is raucous and playful, and is the perfect way to finish off ‘LMIRL’. There’s a real encore feel to ‘Gotta Go’, you can imagine that opening riff being played under the band introductions at the end of a gig. With it’s Beach Boys / The Beatles sound, ‘Gotta Go’ is bright and summery and ends the album with high spirits.
Overall this is a really strong album from the Argentinian / Berlin-based rockers. Perhaps slightly relentless at times, it would be nice to see a little more versatility on the next release and for the vocals to be lifted up in the mix. If you’re looking for polished modern rock and roll, then look no further because The Otherness have well and truly understood the assignment and has delivered.