Newcastle Upon Lyme pop-punkers, Only Strangers have recently released their self-titled EP last month along with launch shows in Stoke this month in March. With gigs lined up for the year, Only Strangers are hitting new levels with their thunderous take on the pop-punk genre. With combative vocals and heavy, distorted riffs, Only Strangers are yet again on the rise as they further their adventure into the industry. Forming in 2010, the momentum of the band has only been on the up as they featured in the Punk As Duck Vol.1 compilation by Horn And Hoof Records, and with two EP’s under their belt, Only Strangers are chartering their sound piece-by-piece.#
The ten track album is fierce by nature, never lacking the passion they start out with courageous displays of energy and determination. Starting with first track ‘Last Time,’ Only Strangers are quick to show off their chemistry as a band with pounding guitar and brilliantly thunderous drums. One of the first things that jump out at you about Only Strangers is their distinctive vocals that don’t once fair – it’s a very charming style that matches their instrumentals. As the EP moves forward into the second track, ‘So Long, Etruria,’ the vocals become cleaner and the guitar becomes more melodic, still with that cadenced drumming complemented by a depth of bass. It’s quickly noted that Only Strangers have a lot of talent, and this unpredictable EP is an impressive display of each element that creates their idiosyncratic sound.
The production of their
self-titled EP is remarkable, with each instrument really bringing the song alive and never once out-shining each other. ‘What Happened To You,’ is an example of their balanced choices, with each component bouncing off of each other to create the buzz surrounding their music. Although, one of their most stand-out tracks is ‘Never Wanted This’ with the fluctuating frequencies that play like a story. Starting slow, the band really work up the chorus in an epic kind of reveal. As mentioned previously, not once through the EP does Only Strangers lack in energy. Each song bounces and represents Only Strangers wholeheartedly. ‘Saturday Night’ furthers the EP into the mid-point, and keeps the very light-hearted sound along with a heavier undertone that Only Strangers carry well into the second-half of the EP. ‘Counter Attack’ takes a different tone, somewhat darker in nature, but with powerful chords carrying the track along with a deep bassline, Only Strangers brilliantly deliver this other side that’s being displayed. Only Strangers has really fallen into place within their genre, creating original work that’s infectious in sound. They really stick with you, and their masses of energy are enough to move you.
‘Anyway, We Delivered The Bomb’ brings Only Strangers back to their distorted guitar works and symbol bashing percussion drumming. It’s one of the most memorable tracks off the album, where the vocals become a lot more combative and bring the band well-and-truly into their own. Armed with their instruments, Only Strangers have succeeded in bringing their creative imaginations to life in such an ingenious way. Coming to the end of the self-titled EP by Only Strangers, the band really combine their works in their entirety to bring their sound to the forefront. ‘Creature’ is definitely one of their most interesting tracks, bringing their punk-esque sound into focus, almost as if we’re hearing a modern Misfits come to life. While the track is a little under three minutes, it doesn’t lack in punch with their melodic and synchronised guitars that carry into last track, ‘Hardest Thing.’ It’s almost sad to see the back of the EP as the first notes chime of their final track, although it’s a belter. Really giving time for listeners to take in the sound of the instruments we’ve come to enjoy, Only Strangers rides fluidity for their final track, making it such an exciting ending to a brilliantly thought-out and produced EP.
The EP is now available for purchase via Horn and Hoof by clicking here.