Every now and then, you hear something that reminds you of a special moment in your childhood that is permanently on some sort of crackly home-video film stock, despite the fact that your family never really owned a video camera and HD camera’s are thing that was invented in your life time. But as a child of the 90’s, grunge was a pretty big part of the soundscape of my early life, which is why hearing The Occupants first physical EP, Hindsight, was such a good listen.
Consisting of Aussie rock veterans Flynn and Luke Gower (previously in the band, Cog), Hindsight is an EP that blends Cog’s progressive rock roots with a murky grunge aesthetic that feels undeniably new and different, but also instantly familiar. This is most evident on the EP’s title track: ‘Hindsight’ encapsulates everything good about The Occupants. Starting of quietly, with Flynn Gower’s delicate vocals over gentle guitars, the song slowly builds until it becomes a giant, heaving anthem. It combines the slow burn of a Tool song (especially in the nine minute extended version of the track), with the murkiness of Alice in Chains. The EP’s final track, and first single, ‘I’ve Benn Thinking’ works in a similar way but on a much smaller scale; where ‘Hindsight’ builds up to a climax, ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ is energetic right from the very beginning.
The other two tracks on the EP, ‘Streets’ and ‘Wonderland’ are slightly less accomplished. While perfectly pleasant songs in their own right, they lack the power and energy of the aforementioned. Where ‘Hindsight’ and ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ are more akin to Aussie prog-rockers Karnivool, ‘Streets’ and Wonderland’ stray away from prog, and into more commercial alt-rock territory, whilst retaining the pace of the other two. It leads to the EP kind of bleeding together; as if it spent it’s two middle tracks diluting itself for the listener. It all becomes a bit muddy. I tried listening to these songs on their own, in between completely different songs, by different artists and I liked them a lot more. In a sense, it’s a little too much of a good thing in this case and the EP would’ve benefitted from a change in pace to keep the listener interested from start to finish.
The Occupants have created a solid and enjoyable EP with Hindsight. But there is potential to push everything that little bit further to make it memorable. It’s an EP that’s well worth a listen and incredibly easy to like, but a little bit harder to love. With a little more variety in their sound, The Occupants will stop being a band to remember with, and will start being a band to remember in their own right.
Keep your eye on The Occupants.
Available now from theoccupants.bigcartel.com/product/hindsight-ep
Reviewed By Anthony Nocera