Album review: O Children – ‘O Children’ (Deadly People)

Our rating:

Don your raincoat and backcomb your hair; given a spritz of style and sex, goth music just got hot

Goth music: it’s a genre that brings to mind bad tattoos, worse piercings and ratty black hair with ginger roots. You might as well put ‘forlorn ghost train attendant’ on your CV for all the friends being a goth will bring you, but you know what? It doesn’t have to be this way.

Fact is, some of the best bands to ever have graced the planet flirted with or prefigured the ebony clique known as goth. The Bad Seeds, [a]The Cure[/a], [a]Joy Division[/a]… and lest we forget, [a]The Horrors[/a] had more than a sepulchral whiff about them before thrusting palms from an early grave with kraut-inflected opus [b]‘Primary Colours’[/b].

But who’s representing from the hereafter now Faris and co have got their serious heads on? Well, crack open the coffin lid, don some leather pants and fetch yourself a pipe of Pringles – if it isn’t [a]O Children[/a] at the bedroom window, looking to extend a friendly cloak.

The London-based outfit are named after a [a]Nick Cave[/a] track but share genes with a more anthemic lineage than that, as anyone even passingly familiar with the work of [a]Interpol[/a] and [a]Editors[/a] will attest. You couldn’t spell ’em out quicker with an Ouija board.

But rather than take themselves too seriously (frontman Tobi O’Kandi and drummer Andi Sleath are formerly of rock-god scourges Bono Must Die), O Children wed sly humour and stroppy conviction in a way that’s just
as indebted to the big music sweep of early [a]Tears For Fears[/a] as it is [a]Bauhaus[/a].

[b]‘Dead Disco Dancer’[/b] does [a]The Birthday Party[/a] by way of [a]Arcade Fire[/a]’s [b]‘Intervention’[/b], while [b]‘Ruins’[/b] is flat-out sexy and sounds like [b]‘The Killing Moon’[/b] with vocals stuck on half-speed and phasers set to glum. Even the more generic moments are rendered as suave as Dracula’s underpants by O’Kandi’s necrotic baritone croon, confirming O Children as the best source of good, unclean fun this side of a weekend’s watersporting with Xtina.

[b]Alex Denney[/b]

[i]What do you think of the album? Let us know by posting a comment below.[/i]

Click here to get your copy of ‘O Children’ from the Rough Trade shop.