Is it fun being in Other Passengers? Probably not. It’s more likely to be a dark and scary world full of unidentified footsteps behind you, dripping, eerie tap noises and no working light switches. Such is the raging claustrophobia and paranoia induced by the Brooklyn (that’s hip New York to you) bunch.
Despite its innate dank unfriendliness, it’s compulsively listenable, soundtracking a particularly bleak journey home as you unwisely choose to cut over the moors.
As a quick-fire guide to their debut album (review), the Vacation EP_ works well. The eponymous opener is bludgeoning and almost danceable, mixing climbing digital-esque guitars with pounding toms and vocals sung by a man who sounds like he’s doing his best just to keep his head above the rising tide. ‘Gorilla’ sounds just like one of the more morbid numbers from the less-than-joyous second Bloc Party album, all boxy drums, trailing guitar and moaning vocals. It’s not quite bewitching but enticingly disagreeable. New Jersey hip-hop outfit dalek’s ‘deadverse’ remix of ‘Wichita’ (home of the aforementioned Blocs, we note), is a more missable affair, all glitches and soupy noise, but ‘Insulin’ is an impressive example to static menace.
Comparisons to state-mates Interpol and sound-brethren Bloc Party are inevitable, but there’s enough here to hint that Other Passengers have demons of their very own to expel for our pleasure.
7Gareth Dobson's Score