Earlier this year, before the world broke, I was alerted to this new band who had released their debut single before playing any shows. The band was London-based Out Of Love and the song was S.L.U.M.P. From that first listen it was clear that this was a band that had a massive upside and I was excited to see what came next. What did come next was a couple more singles and then getting signed to Venn Records to release their first EP I Am Not Me. All of this without even getting to play a gig yet.
I Am Not Me begins with the aforementioned S.L.U.M.P. This song is an anthem for anyone in their mid-twenties, or even thirties, who isn’t where society often dictates they should be at this stage of their lives. This is a big melodic punk song with some fantastic pop sensibilities. The song is packed with hooks that will have your attention immediately and quickly find a home in your memory. The guitars on the track have this great whirly, grungey, dirty quality to them that contrasts the cleaner vocals brilliantly. When the chorus hits, and the gang vocals come in, there is an added intensity that shows off the band’s annoyance at not being judged very nicely. Up next is the EP’s title track I Am Not Me. The song starts slowly, with the track giving off an atmospheric vibe before exploding into life for the chorus. The track, which you might have worked out from the title, is about not feeling yourself, struggling mentally but actually enjoying how it feels. The chorus is simple, catchy and incredibly cathartic. It will earn some massive sing-alongs.
All Grown Up is a shorter song (less than 90 seconds long) that really brings up the tempo. When I first listened to the song I was swiftly reminded of Brighton punks Gnarwolves. Wasting no time it getting started, the song burst into life immediately as the band sing about growing up, not fitting in and not wanting to turn into people that they think are boring. The song, in essence, finishes after about forty five seconds before shifting into a really long and atmospheric outro that then leads into the final song, My Perfect World. The track ensures that I Am Not Me concludes in a positive and hopeful manner as Out Of Love sing about accepting everyone and living in a peaceful community. You know, the way the world should be! I loved the ending of the song in particular as they sing “this is my world and you’re all invited, no borders, no boundaries, no guns and no fighting” and then song ends abruptly leaving the final message of the track in your mind. Quite a powerful way to conclude a fantastic debut EP.
If COVID-19 hadn’t been a thing this year then I truly believe Out Of Love would be a band on the lips of every punk fan in the UK. I Am Not Me showcases a band with an incredible upside and are certainly going to find themselves playing some huge shows whenever shows are allowed to happen again. In the meantime, we’ll have to make do with playing this EP over and over again. Get on this quickly so you can be that smug person who says I knew of them way back when. Everyone loves that person.
Stream and download I Am Not Me on Bandcamp here.
Like Out Of Love on Facebook here.
This review was written by Colin Clark.