It’s been noted by many a musical philosopher gone before that one of the hardest parts of being a band is you have your whole life until your debut album to write the first record and only a year to write the rest. On their fourth LP, the admiringly (or is it menacingly) titled ‘Look At You All Now’, London via Brighton via the whole wide world’s The Others buck that trend, their decade long hiatus serving as fuel to unshackle their selves from their history to this point and come back with their most extensive, strongest, cohesive record yet.
Well gone are the NME cover star punky upstarts of yore, straight-talking controversy-bating frontman Dominic Masters now leading a seven-strong troupe still boasting original guitarist and bassist Johnny Others and guitarist Jimmy Lager, bolstered by two additional guitarist and bassists and a keyboardist alongside their drummer, meaning they’ve a savvier sound than their Barfly-bothering former incarnation could have fantasised.
That fleshed out sound is tantalisingly demonstrated on the first of the collection ‘Nowhere To Go’, a flighty, new wave-esque pop heavyweight, Masters singing about his latterly-found misanthrope over a fun and chirpy guitar line. Put aside the carefree sound of the first track, then, and focus more on the introspective nature of the song’s words and you’ll be on the right track for the rest of the record as, on their latest LP, The Others delve deep into some grittiness, finding themselves largely out of step with mainstream society both on a personal level and with society as a whole.
There are some snarly, industrial-blues numbers, ‘Disdain’ is the angriest track the group have yet committed to tape with some low and lethal guitar parts, ‘Who Cares’ keeps the same spirit but retains a somewhat bouyant melody and some of the LP’s finest points are the bleaker moments that pack a slow intensity and brutal basslines, ‘Decadent Clothes’, ‘Alibis’, ‘You Don’t Even Know Me’ and ‘Paranoid Times’ being prime cases in point.
It’s the handful of truly stand-out songs that really make the record – ‘Rights’ sees the band adopt a snare and keyboard heavy dance beat as Masters’ explores his view on Brexit and the European Union, taking the ‘Lexit’ (left exit) stance and specifically questioning the value of EU membership when “Thatcher sold us out of the EU workers rights”, inviting further discussion by asking “Are you on a settled status or a points system?”.
‘Get Out’ is another misleadingly upbeat creation that deals in the ostracization of the band and their cherished community, and ‘Paranoid Times’ uses a Doors-style hammond organ sound to veer from the singer’s own worries of getting stalked by the police to the wider effect of paranoia on the nation when it comes to Brexit and the fractured United Kingdom.
Closer ‘Billy’ finds The Others at their most candid with a sparse, almost uplifting combination of soaring guitar parts, measured drums and keyboard making space for Dominic to harrowingly contemplate estranged parts of his own family.
Although the release has been their most low-key yet, ‘Look At You All Now’ is evidence that, even though they’ve flirted with a mass-media profile and sizeable record deals, when the camera’s not pointed in their direction they still have it in them to come up with some remarkable goods. If there’s any justice in this fickle world, we hope they regain the wider world’s attention but for the time being we’re just relieved there’s plenty of life in the The Others yet.
The Others are – Dominic Masters,Johnny Others, Jimmy Lager, Joseph Gardiner-Lowe, Eddie Darko, Alex S Tower (Stef) and Steve McCready. ‘Look At You All Now’ was released on 21st March 2023 and you can listen to the record on all the streaming platforms now, along with the rest of The Others excellent back catalogue. Have a listen through the Spotify link below: