Forming a band one month before a global pandemic forces the world to completely shut down is far from ideal. While timing wasn’t on their side, London five-piece Out Of Love are a case study in how, once again, timing isn’t always important when it comes to punk music. Last year saw them release their debut EP ‘I Am Not Me’ to admirable success, with ample coverage from the likes of Rock Sound, Kerrang! and even boasting spins on BBC Radio 1. Looking to continue their upwards trajectory with the forthcoming ‘Funny Feeling’ EP, Out Of Love rattle through their five new songs at a breakneck speed, wasting no time in letting you know what they’re about.
First up is lead single ‘Play Pretend’; charmingly raw yet flat out anthemic, Out Of Love introduce themselves with the pick of the bunch. ‘Play Pretend’ is the kind of song that gets added to playlists straight after that first listen with an infectious hook and front man Jack Rogers confidently leading the charge with a relentless vocal performance that is expertly bolstered by the rest of the ensemble’s explosive commotion.
A true all-rounder in creativity, credit must also go to Rogers for the band’s captivating visual approach. The thought process behind the aesthetic was that it “should be as obnoxious and energetic” as the music but any obnoxiousness in Out Of Love’s craft is entirely that of the endearing kind. For example, the music video that accompanies ‘Play Pretend’ is both figuratively and literally in your face, with the band members taking it in turns to get up close and personal with a fisheye lens. There is an intensity to the band’s aesthetic that is utterly symbiotic with the sound they create.
The pace set from the start of the EP doesn’t let up for a second and, in truth, there are no bad songs on ‘Funny Feeling’. The only pitfall here is one that can be levelled at plenty of punk bands – repetitiveness. There isn’t any real variance outside of ‘Hello Trouble’ which does, in fairness, strip back and flirt with notions of sonic respite before launching back into the, by now, familiar Out Of Love dynamic.
Of course, the framework that Out Of Love operate around has been championed for decades by the likes of Green Day and Nirvana, the fundamentals here being the familiar punchy breakneck verses and catchy, yet equally ruthless, choruses. It’s clear where the influence stems from but, thankfully, the music isn’t indulgent enough to come across as derivative. Rather, everything offered on ‘Funny Feeling’ feels fresh and new. Regardless of the past and considering the future, there’s no reason why Out Of Love can’t be the band to fill the aching void recently left behind by the likes of alt-punk contemporaries Gnarwolves and Milk Teeth.
Citing the opportunity to perform live as “the main reason [they] started”, it might not have been the kickoff that Out Of Love expected, however, with ‘Funny Feeling’ they have succeeded in two key areas. Firstly, the band make enough noise to leave a lasting impression on first-time listeners but, crucially, they also lay down a clear blueprint on which they can continue to build and grow as a punk force to be reckoned with.