A quick rise has lead to a feature in the Scottish Sun, and now OH!RIO is out with a new EP Drowning, which mixes the anthemic indie -pop of Young The Giant with the darker imagery and guitar tones of pop punk to deliver four tracks of emotional, empowering music. This is the soundtrack to rough adjustments, the feeling of melancholy with knowing a bad situation is ending and you may not be the same, but it’s going to be ok. Behind the mic Declan Miller sings his heart out, lyrics like “They couldn’t control me, they wanted to hold me / I’m lost in a photograph, don’t miss me cause I’ll be back” on closing track “Lucky” will appeal to anyone who grapples with their sorrows openly.
The songs all take similar turns; the floating verse to a big, poppy hook and a bridge that drops the dynamics low to make the comeback feel more harrowing; a mountain climber with one hand on the edge, the shipwreck victim reaching for air. The guitars, provided by newest member Sean Miller, spike the boy’s clean punch with a saturated venom in the style of All Time Low or Yellowcard. The drums beat out by John Adamson come in syncopated grooves and fist pumping dirges, complemented by the bass playing of Andy McBeth.
The story’s presented on the album take the listener to some interesting places. There’s a narrative involving gun violence on the second song “Run” a vengeful tune that uses haunting synths to enhance the dread before exploding into the chorus. Unexpectedly, “Colours” is a tale of falling in love that contrasts well with the more isolated undercurrent of Drowning.
Produced by Mark Tindal of Scottish post-hardcore legends To Kill Achilles, the sound is studio heavy with lush tapestries, as on the bridge of “Drowning.” The dynamic shifts are always thrilling, and it’s easy to tell this is a crew who has spent years apart honing this sound before coming together. This is Drowning era OH!RIO, something fans in the future will look back on as a promising new style combination that needed a little time to grow but was sure to blow some minds.
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