October and The Eyes
Dogs and Gods
Post Punk is one of those musical genres that encapsulates so many different types of genres, sometimes it’s hard to pick out what the term actually means. In its purest form, it’s the mostly moody British music of the late 70s and early 80s that branched out as a response from punk rock. Often a little darker and more challenging but that also had flashes of a pop sensibility that punk often eschewed. The debut EP from October and The Eyes is post punk at its purest. The project from New Zealand born and London based October, no last names necessary, is a six song blast of buzzy guitars, bopping bass lines and straight ahead, pounding drums all held together by October’s chorus drenched yelps. Dogs and Gods, out today via KRO Records, may have enough of a throwback pastiche to make true fans of the genre sit up and take notice but the songs are also so well crafted that it should be able to drag over a few new converts to the dark side.
Lead track “Playing God” kicks off with a slinking guitar line and a beat that basically doubles back onto itself due to the amount of delay infused within it and, honestly, it is glorious. When October breaks through the clutter, with her Siouxsie inspired vocals, you should be immediately hooked. The term “immediate” is actually one that can describe all the songs on the EP. They all have a strong sense of purpose and point of view that seem to be missing from a lot of contemporary songwriting and production, throwback or not, these days. “All My Love” will gallop through your headphones with a loopy beat and bass playing that seems to be submerged just slightly underwater. October has described her music as “collage-rock” and this track in particular seems to fit that ethos. It draws from the past so easily, traces of everything from Suicide and The Jesus and Mary Chain are apparent but filtered through her contemporary perspective. “Wander Girl” picks up the pace some with a rollicking break beat and a bass part that would make A Certain Ratio blush. Her gauzy vocals add to the mix perfectly, with her melodies almost acting as another piece of the instrumentation, only really standing out with some haphazard yelping punctuating the tight groove. “You Deserve It” has a slight “Shakespeare’s Sister” by The Smiths feel to its lilt and because of this, one that will keep your head bopping through its well placed half time breaks.
October and The Eyes are hitting a very specific place in modern music. Dogs and Gods is full of references and moments that defiantly harkens back to the genre’s glorious past but October’s songwriting and production are so confident, so strong, that it transcends any argument that this is just goth cosplay. At only the age of 23, October has a strong vision and it is exciting to see where she will end up next, whether or not it fits under the broad umbrella of whatever post punk is anymore.