By Jennie Orton
Other Lives is that band you don’t see coming. Unassuming with their seemingly soft hipster image, you don’t expect the dust storm of sound they produce.
Where Other Lives’ debut Animals was an exploratory solo sociologist’s journey set on the sonic backdrop of a vast and lonely desert, their second album Rituals offers the aftermath of that journey with frank clarity and a self aware sense of humble wounding. As the first few notes of “Fair Weather” cause their ripples, you can notice the signature Other Lives dramatics beginning early as orchestration digs deep and swells large. Jesse Tabish’s falsetto earnestly admits truths like ‘I should have known. No, I should’ve known better’ in “Pattern” before the addictively redemptive guitar riff of the perfectly crafted single “Reconfiguration” takes you down the no-turning-back road of this album. Further along, the jangling spurs of “Need a Line” transmit clanging regret to a lumbering bass line. And then there is “Easy Way Out,” a full Western in one song. This tune is atmospherically gripping, tragically hopeless and unapologetically dramatic. Dusty guitars add grit to the pretty harmonies of the layered vocals and the misleading whimsy of the percussion. This song has a haunting doom to it, an intrigue that catches you in the throat.
Other Lives’ strength lies in taking their broad range of talents and combining them into a primordial soup of emotive music. They take you to that place where you let go and simply allow yourself to live life in all its large and overbearing yet sublimely beautiful glory.