Label: Alcopop! Records
Released: 16th November 2018
Life can often feel ‘a bit much’, especially for a generation becoming ‘adults’ in a world that feels helplessly unstable and beyond their reach; many are fighting daily battles to just keep themselves upright. However, by embracing and addressing the confusion of existence, itoldyouiwouldeatyou provide the perfect antidote.
Together, the band build a space of open-mindedness, creativity and compassion, while leaving the door open behind them for the rest of us to follow. DIY and sincere to its core, the band’s ethos for creating a space for inclusivity has proven especially poignant amongst their contemporaries. Their debut album retains this sentiment, bringing together as many styles and genres as it does musical minds (seven, if you’re counting).
Never content with staying still or giving itself the opportunity to be labelled, ‘oh dearism’ – and each song within it – takes a journey through emo, punk, lo-fi indie and math rock. There are soaring highs upheld while tackling issues of identity, relationships, sexuality and self-harm, with Joey Ashworth’s vocals cutting through the noise with searing honesty. ‘gathering things together and not dividing them’ for example, begins with real warmth and intimacy before picking up the pace with an urgency which is then undercut by a wall of fuzz and wailing guitars.
Bringing a taste of their ‘Get Terrified’ EP is its title single, a stunning track which exemplifies the band’s knack for texture by layering horns beneath the already weaving drum pattern and glistening guitars. Through the instrumental as much as the lyrical (which is the case across the whole album) it’s laden with sonic power, urging listeners to get angry and refuse to feel hopeless, to fight for ‘the future the liberals want’.
As personal as it is political, ‘ohdearism’ offers gentle moments of tenderness, such as ‘craiglockhart’, and galloping verses, whispers of needing to ‘learn to talk about it better’ and fingers dancing across stings in an immaculately constructed instrumental in nine-minute ‘greek fire’. itoldyouiwouldeatyou are technically impressive and emotionally touching with no pretences, exemplified in the album’s touching closing track ‘goodbye to all that’.
Sure, this album isn’t conventionally ‘perfect’, but nothing is. If anything, it succeeds in being perfect in the most truly unconventional way. ‘oh dearism’ teaches us to be ambitious and to learn to love ourselves and those around us. itoldyouiwouldeatyou are a rare and truly special band, essential to the uncertain times we find ourselves living in.