The Others

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 April, 2005, 12:00am

The Others


The Others


(Mercury)


The eponymous debut by feisty indie upstarts The Others - who won the John Peel Award for Musical Innovation at the New Musical Express awards in February - embodies the guitar rock segment of the late BBC radio DJ's nightly shows. Peel famously championed punk and post-punk outfits such as The Undertones, The Buzzcocks, The Fall and Jesus and Mary Chain - all detectable influences in this fresh and spirited quartet.


Bassist Johnny Others' simplistic pounding owes much to The Sex Pistols and other late-1970s punk pioneers, as does guitarist Jimmy Lager's minimalist touch, but melody and harmony - pulled together by angsty vocalist Dominic Masters - is cohesive. Current single William is a foot-stomping case in point.


Almanac, a diary-like account of a night on the town that turns the heads of gawping average folk, attests the self-consciousness of this band, whose very name labels them outsiders. Masters' bisexuality is not directly mentioned here, but it gets plenty of British media coverage, especially after the regular scuffles that he's involved in when defending this preference both on- and off stage against aggressive challengers.


Two previous singles from this album couldn't be more different. The opening Lackey is infectious jangly guitar-infused garage rock, while debut single This is for the Poor reeks of student union idealism, and is downright grating in its naivety.


Though somewhat derivative, this is finely produced British indie rock.