ONLY SIBLING- ‘Get Well Soon’
Only Sibling might be on to something here. The New York outfit dub themselves “loser rock” and write songs about frustration, failure, and fears of everything just falling apart, but on ‘Get Well Soon’ there is always hope.
That means the best moments on this, the four-piece’s debut full-length, come when they temper millennial terror and their most downbeat tendencies with punk rock power, bouncy brevity, and an infectious revelry in the power of music.
So, sure, as well as being called ‘Loser’, the second track here is reminiscent of mid-career Brand New and Jesse Lacey at his most miserable, but ‘My Violet’ is crunchy, catchy, sweet, and a more unique proposition, ‘Closest’ is a great example of this cool thing the band do with dancing, spartan lead guitar work that almost sounds like mini solos, and ‘Native’ is a straight-up bop.
Even when the band do delve into true downer jams and lose a little definition and a little impetus, everything is streamlined enough that no gloom lingers for long. For better and just occasionally worse, there aren’t any experimental flourishes here. There’s no drag, no extended venting. Only one song goes past the four-minute mark.
‘Selfish’ finishes strong but would be even better if it sustained its opening, energetic pace for longer, and while the Weezer-esque guitar solo (this time a proper, actual solo) towards the end of ‘Native’ might be a parody, it’s the best, most big-hearted moment on the record.
‘Get Well Soon’ is not an original proposition- there are circa 300 other bands combining the same sort of hazy, 90s-influenced sounds right now- and some of the hooks here feel soft when they should be razor sharp, but it is definitely deftly done. It’s a neat balance of anxiety and energy, a record that sounds classic and contemporary at the same time, alt rock with intensity but a twinkle in its eye too.