October Drift open their sophomore album, I Don’t Belong Anywhere with monotone; a chant. A monotonous chant about the monotony of our dismal modern world. “Warming up forever, have you seen the weather?” Then it bodyslams itself into a wall of guitar, and there’s a chemical changing of that despair into a bitter and determined vitality: “what about us now?”.
Though sometimes cryptic, their lyrics aren’t afraid to fire directly, either. The song ‘Webcam Funerals’ is pretty obvious in its subject origins; being forced apart from loved ones during the pandemic, even in death. But the transparency doesn’t make it any less wretchedly potent. In fact, it makes it even more so, confronting the listener with dire reality, and for many, painful recent memory.
Straightforwardness is used powerfully in other tracks, too. The album’s very final moments feel like descending stairs in the dark, expecting another last step where there is none, and for a fraction of a moment, falling into nothingness. Its closing words are anticlimactic, purposefully and heartbreakingly.
Without reducing their original work to comparison, there is a sense in likening October Drift to Interpol: coarse-grained, powerful lead vocals; bleak-soaked tone; a sad and beautiful sense of lyricism; hives of distorted guitars tessellated into their choruses. October Drift, of course, have indie cred of their own, supporting the likes of Editors and We Are Scientists, as well as being championed by all-knower of indie, Steve Lamacq.
Sonically, it’s not new territory that October Drift are trekking here. But the stories of their travels are told with fresh air from their mouths, clarity in their eyes, and their feet heavy with experience. Despite their assertions, October Drift do, rightfully, belong here.