Record review: The OK Social Club – Nothing In Common [Platform]

1Nothing In Common - Artwork

There will always be room in the world for music to have a dance to – The OK Social Club seemingly had that memo in mind during the writing process of this their eagerly anticipated debut full length.

 

Nothing In Common is packed with shiny and satirical pop sensibilities, but in place of the contemporary disposability, which so often plagues many bands within the pop-indie genre, is a bunch of exquisite hooks, which will enter your membrane and refuse to leave.

The nucleus of The OK Social Club attack is based around social commentaries and ironically laced lyrics.

These commentaries and enticing melodies have earned the Edinburgh quartet airplay on the likes of Soccer AM and MTV over the past twelve months, and more recently catapulted them in front of the masses at the capital’s massive Hogmanay celebrations.

Praise and adulations aside, the question has always been whether this lot could sustain a solid and consistent sound to create a memorable debut album.

Crucially, the band manages to produce clinical results, do not be fooled, though, there are songs on Nothing In Common, which would have been better left on the studio cutting floor.

‘Twisted Young Gentleman’ for example, exudes ideas of ballad grandeur but just fails to hit the mark – coming across slightly awkward rather than endearing.

However, this is but a slight hitch, ‘Getting Away With It’ and former single ‘The Late 90s’ sound more vital and beautiful than it ever has before.

Simmering with both confidence and presence the band lay the foundations to something pretty special.

The main reason Nothing In Common comes across as such a charming little listen is because of the baptism of realism placed within the lyrics.

‘The Shape of Things To Come’ places together the pieces of a night out which turned out more than a little raucous, the charms coming full circle when narrated in a truly ironically fluttered fashion by vocalist Raff Eragona;  “What did I do last night? How did I end up here?” he asks.

If ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ is about the crime scene of the party, then ‘Gazelig’ is about redemption and apologizing for the aftermath; “darling, I was a sorry state when you found me”.

It is through this track where the bands true charm is exposed; realisation that the fun is over and a need for responsibility and consolidation takes precedence over reckless occasions.

The urgency of this balance is replicated through the sound of sweet jangly guitars and rhythmic drums, which both soothe and seduce magnificently.

Make one thing clear, though – Nothing In Common is not a record made up of patronising and preaching tones; that would be a massive misinterpretation of what this record achieves.

Bounded with undercurrents of 70s disco and with guitars that shred just as delicately as any Strokes or Cribs record – The OK Social Club have crafted a sound that is just as intelligent and intriguing as their contemporary commentary.

Words: Chris Kelman

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