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Othered - Othered Vol 1 (self-released)

28 April 2022

Remember when rock music had something important to say? Remember when rock music knew how to groove? Remember that time before metal became merely about being the loudest, biggest, fastest? Remember that time before rock bands became more concerned with their complicated hairstyles and sporting designer labels when they were more focused on substance rather than style? Well, it doesn’t matter if you do or not, all that matters is that Othered remembers.

Othered is made up of Henry Austin Lannan and Emily Palen (a.k.a. KnightressM1) and together they make music that weaves doom and metal with psychedelic and prog-rock, accessible rock with incendiary roll, traditional classic sounds with alternative potential. I often say that rock music has pretty much found its perfect form and all bands need to do is explore what already exists within its boundaries rather than push them into new sonic pastures. In the case of Othered, I am more than happy to admit that this might not be the case and that this band represents everything that is exploratory, forward-thinking, and adventurous about the modern rock sound, yet they do all of this without breaking out of too many established comfort zones that the listener may have cocooned themselves in.

The obvious place to start is with the recent single “Journey To The Edge”, a song that sums up the intelligence and depth of the lyrical content of a band born out of the chaos and confusion of the last few years. But that is just one poignant moment on an album of poignant moments. “War’ is suitably abrasive and commanding, the sort of song which can act as the touchpoint for whole new movements to be born and radical ad widespread changes in ways of thinking, “Redless” is relentless and raucous, a cavernous sound shot through with squalling guitars and epic beats, and “Pink In June” blends rock grit with an almost indie guitar vibe, groove with grace, drama with delicacy.

Who knew that rock music could be this intelligent? Who knew that it could have this much to say? Who knew that it could do all of this whilst reinforcing, reigniting, and, in places, reinventing the hard rock template? Well, Othered, for a start. And now you do too. Sorted!

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