And as *Kids Near Water *step down for a second, *Otherwise *step up to present us with their debut for the fast-growing Firefly label. Like much of their contemporaries, Otherwise require great patience from the listener in order for you to become fully soaked in the abundance of intricacies flying out from all angles.
For it’s only after giving them your full attention for a number of listens that their jigsaw of melodies begin to click together and the vocals really begin to shine. Bad news then for those looking for a quick, catchy fix of pop-punk, for although Otherwise probably wouldn’t look out of place on a punk stage, the strength of album highlights _‘Not Ashamed of Stealing’ _and _‘The Rest is Silence’ _show that their hearts must surely lie in the raw, emotional hardcore of *Fugazi *and *Q and Not U *than the punkier end of the spectrum.
And what really proves Otherwise as one of the underground’s best-kept secrets is the acoustic, but still intensely passionate, ‘Magnetic South’, a touching lament about a relationship that could’ve been more, before bursting back into their groove fully re-charged.
This is a truly astonishing album and definitely recommended for fans of Dischord emo. Nice packaging too.
8Mat Hocking's Score