The crashing, doom-tolling sounds of October Drift are fully realised on their debut album, with a bit of experimentation and a few left turns along the way. Their range may be limited to shades of black and, at the most, dark grey, but within these boundaries they are able to create something that stays with you.
Some of their most enduring tracks – ‘All Broken Down’, ‘Come and Find Me’ – are absent here, which means the band are down a couple of killer choruses. Yet Forever Whatever still has plenty to recommend it – old favourites re-tooled in the form of ‘Losing My Touch’ and ‘Cherry Red’. The former’s cryptic chorus – “They say there’s a sliver line / I’m silver all the time” is a good example of the sort of sly, cryptic couplets that pepper this album. It may be an angry debut, but it certainly isn’t blunt. These are songs you can really dig into.
The production emphasises the chugging bass and fuzzed out, slashing riffs. Solos are absent and the use of guitars here is more textural – providing a wall of noise to frame the chaos at the heart of the rhythm section. The album captures the band’s USP perfectly: the smouldering voice of frontman Kiran Roy. His presence looms over these songs, his words booming like incantation.
When the grunge rock heroics subside, and the piano led ‘Naked’ pierces the gloom, it’s a revelation. The stark, Cure-like ballad fits the band particularly well, and I’d love to hear more like this from them.
Forever Whatever is a great manifesto for all October Drift have been up to on their ceaseless touring. Their live shows are notoriously chaotic, and they bring that fire with them here. Forever, we hope.