Better Off – ‘Keeping Watch’

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2013 has been the year of the throwback. With labels like Run For Cover and 6131 Records belting out some sterling lo-fi/90s-esque/alt-rock bands like Daylight and Pity Sex,  the latest band in this vein is offering a slightly different take on this. While bands like Daylight are pointing fingers at Nirvana for their influence, Nashville band Better Off are taking some of the musical and lyrical elements of this nostalgia-frenzy but creating a far more upbeat and polished sound, combining it with an almost pop-punk sound that calls to mind bands like The Story So Far. While everyone else is wishing they were Kurt Cobain and lament about not crashing cars, Better Off sound far less weathered and far more alive.

The latest song to be released, ‘Keeping Watch’, from their forthcoming debut LP showcases their relatively unique style, submerging a vessel of moody thoughts – “I’ll need a helping hand through the rest” – in a medley of jangling guitars and punchy as anything drums. It is most likely this juxtaposition of moods and sounds that has provoked comparisons to 90s/00s emo rock outfit Jimmy Eat World, and for a band that has only been around for just over six months, that is undoubtedly flattering. But what sets Better Off apart is that they’ve strayed from the generally pretty cool but starting-to-get-predictable wave of wannabe grunge bands and pumped a bit more energy into the whole emotional rock thing. Definitely one to watch.

7/10

FFO: Jimmy Eat World; Brand New circa Your Favourite Weapon before they got sad; Futures if you’re not a hipster

(I Think) I’m Leaving is due to be released through 6131 Records/Blood & Ink Records on September 24th 2013. Listen to the single here

 

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