Album Review: Onlooker – Total Rest

After teasing us with a selection of singles released late last year northern garage rockers Onlooker finally released their album ‘Total Rest’

First track ‘An Introduction To guitar Music’ is not just a great title but a great introduction to the band too. The interplay between the bands two guitarists Bruce Hobson and Ben Goodwill is such an integral part of the bands sound. The guys bring second track ‘Easy Breezy’ to life with the crafted melodies and guitar noodling as Kev Ridden unleashes his swaggering brash vocals style.

Tracks like ‘Value’, ‘Glory’ and ‘If I Had A Quid’ show off the twin guitar attack central to the bands sound. Keeping solid rhythm spotted with hooks and speed changes keeps the whole track on its toes. A deluge of guitars as singer/bassist Kev Ridden gets shouty is what the band excel at and track ‘Glory’ does this perfectly. With bursts of scratchy lead guitar the track builds till it blows up on the chorus. ‘If I Had A Quid’ is a straight up rocker that goes full on with its breakdown.

One of the singles the band released and a highlight of the album, ‘Hard Work’ is angular and unpolished to perfection. A clattering of drums and those confidently delivered vocals and some more adventures guitar parts. The track ebbs and flows in such an addictive manner you will struggle to get it out your head for days.

The frantic energy of ‘Get Out Alive’ is an addictive as drummer Michael Kitching goes nuts with the rolls. The spiky track refuses to sit down. ‘Death by Milkfloat’ is another fast paced energetic track thats descends into a whirlwind at the end.

The cool tale of ‘Eddy Lee’ puts the bands Teesside roots on show. Stuttering guitar with the boys once again impressing with their twin guitar attack. Straight into ‘Duck And Dive’ which has a banging opening riff guaranteed to get many a crowd going wild. Another nod to Kitching for his excellent drumming through out.

The stabby and obtuse ‘Isolation’ is a track thats bang up to date with its lyrical content with an undercurrent of paranoia. A musical theme that track ‘Neck And Neck’ shares. That is until Ridden goes full pyscho.

A cracker of an album finisher ‘Hot Romance’ starts off slow but the chaos of drums and guitar is not far away as the track ends in a turmoil of the two. Something this album does so well. They create chaos around the steadfast vocals. This is an album that is full of the killer aspects of the bands sounds and nothing extra.

Fast paced garage rock thats has a loose and scratchy feel to it which just goes to make the band sound real but more importantly like a tightly knitted band. There’s no room for egos here and the whole band come together to create some infectious and brilliant songs. Songs that will sound even better live.

Check out the bands track Eddy Lee, below:

Find out more via the bands Facebook 

Onlookers debut album ‘Total Rest’ will be available on 12’ coloured vinyl, cassette and digital download here or via Sunderland based label Serial Bowl here

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