Out of all the bands in the early- to mid-2000s revival of British punk and new wave, the Others are perhaps the most indebted to classic 1977 punk rock. Unlike most, they owe nothing to dance-friendly new wave, and similarly eschew the angularity of the large pack of Gang of Four-influenced bands that were the movement's critical and commercial darlings. Rather, the Others' eponymous debut borrows from the sneering, dingy punk rock of the Sex Pistols, but slowed down and delivered more menacingly while opting for a scathing, unpretentious, and populist (reference "This Is for the Poor," the album's highlight) take on nu-new wave. While, musically, the Others seem to lack some of the fire of their closest contemporaries like the Libertines, their secret weapon is frontman Dominic Masters, a true belter who sounds like a vocal dead-ringer for Graham Parker, and brings all the bite and vitriol of classic Parker sides to his band's brand of dingy and frayed punk rock. Masters' vocals may be an acquired taste in the same way that Parker's were, but that only adds a certain power and energy that the rest of the Others, for all their virtues, seem to be lacking. The best moments, like the aforementioned "This Is for the Poor," are when the band channels this restraint into building up tension for delivering a scathing, full-on attack. Unfortunately, these moments are too few and only underscore that much of The Others seems unnecessarily limp and under-written, rendering the entire affair a mere display of this band's potential. Truthfully, unless they have more tracks like "This Is for the Poor" in them, their time in the spotlight may be brief.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason Damas