RIYL: The Strokes, Phoenix, Interpol, The Killers
It’s Saturday night, and you’re looking for release. Maybe you want something to cool your mind; maybe you’re trying to escape the drudgeries of daily life; or perhaps you just need a drink.
Drinking alcohol is understanding how
Drinking alcohol is not abandoning now
Sure, it’s not the best message for the kids, but different music serves different purposes. Some songs allow us to dive deeper into ourselves or the human psyche, and some songs serve to bring us closer to others. Without sugarcoating it, this song is neither of those two: “Alkohole” fits a special niche for emotional release with little contemplative introspection.
And sometimes, that’s alright.
Listen: “Alkohole” by OH MY!
Swedish indie rock band OH MY! boast a spot-on impression of The Strokes circa 2002, nearly to the point where it feels like they’re ripping off Julian Casablancas and co. Shimmering lead guitars flex sparse riffs over subdued rhythm guitars while lead singer Johan Åkerström switches between consciously unemotive verses and cries in the chorus.
This is more than the lo-fi indie rock famously revived by The Strokes: This is the band’s European doppelgänger, if ever there was one! Some diehard Strokes fans are likely to reject OH MY! out of loyalty to The Strokes, but why bother? Firstly, The Strokes didn’t reinvent the wheel, and secondly, good music is good music.
“Alkohole” is just that: A self-proclaimed demo released in anticipation of OH MY!’s upcoming second album, “Alkohole” is a fun, unassuming rocker. OH MY! are raw and unhinged as they tear through three minutes of well-organized raucousness.
Everyone needs a breather; everyone needs to let themselves go sometimes. Through various layers of semi-coherent lyrics one can find a cry for help from someone relying too heavily on the bottle – nothing left inside me, I just got this far – but OH MY!’s half-formed thoughts don’t carry nearly as much weight as does their music.
Instead of inspiring pity or remorse, “Alkohole” delivers to listeners a sense of passionate indifference. It embraces youthful indulgence, preying upon an innate desire to live freely – not through alcohol, per se, but through some form of psycho/physiological release.
And every time Åkerström tells us it’s alright, that’s when we know: We’ve found our release.