Album Review: Only Rivals – Life Is Perfect

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The mainstream is under threat. Pop artists are no longer safe and house music is quivering in fear. After a scary couple of years, bands are back getting the countrywide recognition they deserve. After the success of Neck Deep and Bullet For My Valentine in the charts and the excellent new album from Bring Me The Horizon looking like it will be heading the same way, the tides are more than changing for the better. With the justified resurgence of rock within the wider world outside our passionate scene, so is the interest in new up-and-coming bands and what the sonic future is set to hold. One band in particular that is more than due their time in the sun is Only Rivals. Off the back of last year’s exceptional and underrated EP ‘Details’, the Dublin based band have penned their debut full length ‘Life Is Perfect’ in hopes of breaking through the glass ceiling into the blossoming meadows of critical acclaim.

From the get-go, the band are playing at their absolute blinding peak. ‘Dive In’ incorporates beautifully flourishing ambience with an immensely rousing chorus, before ‘Grudge’ brings in deep-set bass and busheling melodies. Only Rivals’ persistence in penning the most harrowing of tunes alongside the most gorgeous is a testament to their the high standard of songwriting skill in their ranks, as well as to their need to create a piece of art with as many memorable faces as they can muster. Things continue at a high caliber with ‘Replace/Exchange’ building up to a devastating finale, while ‘Drive’ demonstrates once again the band’s exceptional knack for writing a melody that sticks to you like tar.

More and more, the band demonstrate their knack for penning marvelously vibrant tunes with ‘Too Many Churches’ conjuring saccharine-soaked imagery through group vocal cries and concise sensitivity, before ‘There Are Rules’ sees things out in arena-baiting fashion with grungy laziness and head-banging grooves. With a lingering ring of feedback comes an end to one of the most exciting and diversely revitalising debuts of 2015 or any other in fact. Only Rivals have crafted the sort of album that will still bring forth new angles, emotions and impressions be it the 2nd or 22nd listen.

Only Rivals are one of rock’s most underappreciated gems right now. With the sort of honest, ballsy and touching rock songs they have in their arsenal now thanks to ‘Life Is Perfect’, the sky is more than the limit for this quartet and the next year, if all is good and true in the batshit mental world of music, should see them soar higher than they ever thought they could.

Life is Perfect and so are Only Rivals.

4.5/5

‘Life is Perfect’ by Only Rivals is released on September 18th on SO Recordings.

Only Rivals links: Facebook|Twitter

Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)

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