Other Lives: Rituals (TBD) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, January 26th, 2021  

Other Lives



May 07, 2015 Issue #53 - April/May 2015 - Tame Impala Bookmark and Share

Expectations are high for Other Lives' new album, given the company kept by the band after releasing the acclaimed Tamer Animals (2011). The Oklahoma quintet were featured at Coachella and Iceland Airwaves and toured with Radiohead and Bon Iver, coveted slots that positions Other Lives as perhaps the next great indie band.

It's hard not to think of Radiohead's presumed influence when listening to Rituals. A Thom Yorke-ian attention to both precision and panorama is present on Ritualsthe hectic strings and blips that build to great effect on "Patterns," the brooding brass and stellar cymbal work on "Fair Weather." Elsewhere, however, the attempt to stand alongside falls short. "Reconfiguration," as an example, attempts to haunt with sweeping sounds, clanking found objects, dark piano tones, and falsetto "oohs" up front in the mix, but the whole approach is a bit heavy-handed.

"2 Pyramids" is the album's centerpiece and highlight. Jesse Tabish's tenor stands out while a brilliant interplay of frenetic strings weaves a wonderful tapestry that shows a power rarely seen in Other Lives' archive. Unfortunately, the energy and interest is immediately lost in the slogging Western-tinged "Need a Line."

A full slate of 14 tracks will please some fans, but it's easy to see how an editorial ear would remove or reorder several songs for greater overall impact. Even Radiohead has been guilty of overloading the set (Hail to the Thief), and Other Lives has committed the same crime.


Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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January 29th 2016

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