Out Of Love – ‘So Far, So Good’

By Aaron Jackson

Since their inception in 2020, London 5-piece Out Of Love have set out to make their mark at any given opportunity. Releasing a steady stream of music from the off, fans have discovered and enjoyed 2020’s debut EP ‘I Am Not Me’ and the impressive ‘Funny Feeling’ in the following year (which you can check out our review of here). This year, the quintet are bringing us a compilation album of sorts; the first nine tracks of the album consist of the songs featured on the aforementioned EPs, and also included is the standalone single ‘Sniffin Glue’ and three brand new songs. Plenty to get your teeth into.

At 13 songs long, the track list of this debut LP looks pretty hefty, but with ‘Sniffin Glue’ serving as the longest song on offer running at just over the three-minute mark, ‘So Far, So Good’ is a whistle-stop tour of Out Of Love’s first three years. A strong standalone indeed, the aforementioned track encapsulates everything that is so promising about this band in one song. Notably, Dan Marsh and Kev Mac’s guitars have an effective relationship, with one providing a bed of crashing chords, on top of which the other wails through melodic riffs. All the while, frontman Jack Rogers snarls his way through blistering verses and an anthemic chorus.

The record certainly has its highlights. Both EP openers ‘S.L.U.M.P’ and ‘Play Pretend’ stand out, their exemplary hooks undoubtedly helping them make their way onto any self-respecting summer playlist. ‘I Am Not Me’, ‘Hello Trouble’ and ‘Dog Daze’ are also takeaway tracks that manage to stand out from the rest of the pack, simply because of how fundamentally catchy they are. Songs like these are a testament to Out Of Love’s budding songwriting prowess; there is a huge amount of potential here.

The first taste of new material came in the form of lead single ‘Pity’. Rogers explains that “Pity is an observation about a person I know who does nothing but moan about life. It’s a response to the toxic outlook they have on the world and how I want nothing to do with them anymore.” A riotous rejection of pessimism, ‘Pity’ promotes the importance of looking forward with your chin held high.

Most recently, the band have also dropped the album’s closer ‘Kill Song’ as a single. Propelled by Dan Pearson’s emphatic drumming and Ricky Clarke’s distortion-drenched bass, ‘So Far, So Good’ bows out in much the same way as it began: at a blistering pace. So, that just leaves ‘Bedbound’ as the only song reserved for the album’s full release. It’s a trudging number that drips with malaise, with lyrics like “I’m addicted to my loneliness” and the juxtaposing “I’m so full up of my emptiness” completing an authentically moody experience.

Even after the first listen of the album, the blueprint becomes clear as it’s hammered home in every song. While the band’s explosive dynamic makes it simply impossible to get bored while listening to the EP, it is hard to ignore the overall lack of variance. That said, with the likes of Turnstile, Drug Church and Chubby & The Gang (to name just a few) currently making strides by incorporating melodic textures into a hardcore punk framework, a path is markedly being carved out that Out Of Love are perfectly poised to join.

With a healthy compilation already under their belt, it’ll be interesting to see which songs the band choose for their live setlist. Originally claiming that “the main reason” for starting Out Of Love was to play live, the band first graced the stage to a sold-out crowd in Milton Keynes and went on to fulfil all of their tour dates in September 2021. That’s an impressive feat for any fledgling punk band, let alone one having to navigate a scene that has been afflicted by a global pandemic. With this in mind, a live performance seems like the ideal way to enjoy this band’s music – getting stuck in and going to bed with your ears ringing up a storm.

While there may not be a huge amount of new material on offer here for existing fans of Out Of Love, ‘So, Far, So Good’ serves as the perfect introduction to an outfit who are just getting started. This band’s music is fast and noisy enough to grab even the idlest playlist surfer’s attention. Tying the lot up into one not-so-neat package creates a sonic gateway for new listeners and, once they’re in, Out Of Love have more than enough on offer to keep them coming back for more.

AARON JACKSON

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