OH WELL GOODBYE: AFFINITY PART 1

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    Nothing about the Liverpool band Oh Well Goodbye is crystal clear. However, it’s that subtle murkiness and enthrallment of the unpredictable that makes them so alluring. When trying to categorize themselves under a certain genre they decided to go with ‘indiepoplofigrungerock,’ a conglomeration of every influence they could think of. The guys behind the music are Philip, Andy, Sam, Connor, and Adam, assisted by their label Bleeding Gold,  poses that fearless independence not only in how they present themselves but the music they create. Almost two years after their 2015 release BG092 which was the epitome of lo-fi grunge, the band came back with Affinity Part 1 ready to blur the lines a little bit more.

      Shifting away from their semi-static approach, Oh Well Goodbye truly used this as their opportunity to experiment. From the murky waters of post-punk and britpop, the first track “And Ease” emerges. Shrouded in reverb and a touch of shoegaze, the dynamics of the band start to shine through. The covering of genres are executed flawlessly by the band's use of constraint. Never letting one element become too overwhelming, the song rises and falls, the fluctuation keeping it diverse enough without becoming overpowering.

     That captivating balance is evident all through the album but most notably in “Pushing Blood.” Channeling 60’s guitar driven rock, the song exerts a raw energy. A knockout in only two minutes and forty five seconds, the song seems like a mad dash as it hits you over the head with a burst of energy and post-punk flair. “Everything As A Reminder,” the more chilled out tune, allows for some breathing room in between. The songs are a stark contrast and a reminder of how gently the scales are balanced as they verge on baroque.

The EP concludes with”Affinity,” which serves as a reflective outro and really gives the listener a chance to digest and reflect on the music. Weighed down by a haze, the song has a heaviness you want to dissolve into. It has a gentle melody and an ethereal swirl that it sticks with the whole way through. Lacking the twist and turns of the other songs, it’s simplicity gives it a grace that makes it the perfect song to go out with.

     This EP keeps you on your toes as the band takes you from one genre hop to the next. The change of pace and stylistic merges give it a refreshing originality. It comes with a confidence that is contagious, you can tell that the music they create really means something to them. They’re not afraid to dive head first into uncharted waters, translating into all the surprising twists, turns, and leaps that make this album so effective.

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samantha sullivan