There’s always a temptation to chuck any new, self-proclaimed indie band into the overflowing, junkyard of a brand curated Spotify playlist, for them never to be heard of again. But Dublin-based trio Other Creatures are immediately spared of this neglect on grounds of not having an intolerably shite band name. Signed up to Irish label Trout Records, the school-mates have been together for about five years now with little much to show for it. After a few setbacks, mainly the the loss of original and unretrievable recordings to a crashed computer, the band have finally got around to releasing their debut work. This arrives in the form of the aptly, if a little lazily titled, The First EP.
We begin with ‘Luxembourg’ – a charismatic piece of alternative-pop, painted with big, wiry guitar strokes, with a looming sense of melancholy clinging to its core. It’s well-crafted stuff and there’s depth to be sniffed-out within it’s sonic musings. ‘Birthal’ follows with an intro ripped straight from the OK Computer manual. Lullaby-like plucks segue into singer, Konrad Timon emotive vocal. The key suddenly changes about a third of the way in, revealing an unexpectedly odd outro, dominated by chants of “La la la”. It’s like Mew reworking ‘Hey Jude’...take from that what you will.
Of course there’s the textbook 90s indie comparisons to be made here also. Pixies, Pavement, Suede – you know the drill. ‘Lady Boy’ is the standout of the EP though and could easily be a forgotten cut from Surfa Rosa. The track is centred around reverberating, pointed guitar riffs, Black Francis inspired utterances and melodic displays as memorable as anything the Boston rockers ever did. “She wears a tattoo!” exclaims Timon, as the guitars brush against chugging bass and eventually coalesce into one big pay-off.
Rounding off the EP is the slightly disappointing ‘Soft and Sweet’. It was all going so well too! It’s the type of track that locks into your brain waves, but becomes unwelcome after a few hours of dizzying repetitions. It’s clearly a simple love song of sorts, but everything about it feels lacklustre and cringe-inducingly twee. “You’re so soft and sweet!”…come on lads, you can do better than that. Other than that closing misstep, The First EP is a strong debut outing for Other Creatures and it’ll be interesting to see their next move.
The First EP is out now on Trout Records.