Rapid Fire Reviews: The Orwells and Oslow

Posted: by Steven Lalonde

The Orwells – Terrible Human Beings

Terrible Human Beings

The adolescent garage punk rockers are back with their third full-length Terrible Human Beings. After releasing two full-lengths and touring with the Arctic Monkeys, I expected The Orwells to step up big time with this release. Instead, they kind of just stood pat with an album that has it’s moments, albeit more of those being unmemorable than memorable. Not to say that the album is a catastrophe, but it’s not the greatest thing ever. A lot of the songs on the album have a kind of fun sing-along charm to them that aren’t particularly complex or difficult to comprehend. What I find disappointing is that there seems to be a lot of build up, but then nothing really seems to happen afterwards. The slacker rocker’s best track is perhaps “Black Francis”, with a fast-paced riff happy style, it’s easily my favourite on the entire album. I do have to credit the band however for their attempt at blending Black Keys ambience with a tinge of Pixies influence. Most of the songs have a nice strong tone that gives a southern feel to it. Some tracks such as “Heavy Head” and “Creatures” demonstrate the band can do things differently with the groovy bass lines and catchy choruses.

I still like this band. They’re a fun listen overall, especially if you’re having a few friends over and wanna crack open a beer or two, The Orwells are the perfect soundtrack for that kind of thing. But also, this band may suffer from a too-famous-too-fast syndrome, seeing as they’re still in their early twenties. Yet, this gives me hope that maybe we haven’t seen them at their peak just yet. I hope not anyways. Bottom line, if  you’re looking for a band to just enjoy and not have to think too much about or dissect, then give Terrible Human Beings a shot.

Score: 6.5/10

Oslow – Oslow


The Australian post-punk band really put out a banger. For a debut full-length album, I gotta say, it’s pretty damn impressive. Right off the bat, the comparisons to bands such as Citizen, Title Fight and Balance and Composure will be flowing through your mind.  The brilliant debut is scintillating but humble as the band open up a mixed bag of emotive tracks that combine elements from all sorts of punk rock type influences. From  fast paced and pounding tracks such as the opening two “Asleep in the Hallway” and “Sewing,” to the easy listening tracks like “Cold Dark Space” and “Wide Eyed”, Oslow dish out a plethora of angsty emotions complemented with mysterious undertones that really make them a special band. Every single instrument works so well with the others. The grungy/melodic guitar tones, the driving bass and fierce drums, the album perfectly encapsulates every punk-related sound from the past 10 years. Tinged with the perfect amount of heaviness and eerie, airy melodies, vocalist Dylan Farrugia is passionate and has an intensity that’s unique in a sense but comforting. A lot of the melodic parts remind me of some Turnover elements, and to be honest, there’s probably another 10 bands I can go on about that carry influences on this record. It’s all these influences that Oslow have managed to blend together that really make this album a remarkable debut full-length. 

All that said, if you’ve enjoyed any sort of punk, post-punk, emo, etc. in the last 10 or so years, I truly think you’ll find a familiar sense of amenity with Oslow. I don’t think I’ll stop listening to it to be honest, and really, I believe it’ll be on my EOTY list. It’s that good. And plus, they’re from Australia, and how many bands from Australia have ever disappointed? Exactly. None. So do yourself a favour, and listen to Olsow.

Score: 8.5/10

Steven Lalonde/@StevenLalonde