October Drift: “I Don’t Belong Anywhere” album review – powerful post-grunge makes its mark


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Rating: 4 out of 5.

You may or may not have heard October Drift. An elusive collective with aims of top flight successions, they are an alternative alignment and a necessary addition to the heavy, pop-inflected post-grunge that has emerged over recent years.

With brutal realism and dark undertones, they became to two-step into one of the bands to look out for from the washy scenes of post-grunge.

Of course, the first indent they made was with Forever Whatever in 2020. With a solid foundation behind them from relentless tours, the album picked up traction and was praised for its dark tempting fate of comprising thoughts as Losing My Touch and Don’t Give Me Hope are earmarked.

Now, with far less introspective thoughts hiving the mind, their sophomore follow-up I Don’t Belong Anywhere has reaffirmed those to jump off the fence and get mixed up in the whirlwind of October Drift’s hectic touring schedule and their truly voltaic thunderings of charred rock.

A more powerful statement of intent, I Don’t Belong Anywhere is a sheer heart attack of a more connected sound, as the band establishes themselves into a sure-fire role sandwiched somewhere between fellow combatants Baby Strange and Bad Nerves; bleak-soaked tone, hives of distortion lost to the bleak underbelly of city soundscapes.

Kicking off in a flurry, Airborne Panic Attack is a tensive jolt of off-colour verses ejected with a euphoric chorus, “But, what about us now? / What are these thorns caught in our back? / It’s death from above now.” Waltzer was the one of the last singles to be released ahead of the album launch, and it really steals the show. A sorrowful telling of falling apart – “But I hold on only for you / (But I don’t think I’m coming back) / Cancer crawl what can I do / (I don’t think I’m coming back)” it incants true October Drift sound. Insects follows with infectious bass and guttural guitars, and a familiarity with Nirvana’s Lounge Act is met as the kindred spirit of a grunge great is met. “Was there insects pinned to the walls? / Was there insects / Nothing at all / Was there insects pinned to the walls? / Trying to crawl / Trying to crawl..”

Lost Without You is a new brooding lust for being loved and marks the final rejuvenation before the album takes a darkening turn. Bleed is one of those powerful pieces where it’s best to just sit and listen, not preoccupied with anything but just getting lost in it all. A song to storm the waters with, it’s presence could’ve ended up on Thom Yorke’s roster or even for the back-end of Radiohead’s 1995 The Bends.

The song Webcam Funerals is a striking blow of realism as it confronts the listener with a far more hurtful memory as it explores losing loved ones during the pandemic and being unable to see them during their final moments. “I’m tracing the lines of my veins but I’m nowhere near / I thought you’d always been mine now I’m choking on pixel tears / We can sit in the dark cos the light can be so cruel / I’ll never get used to webcam funerals.”

This is just a glimpse at the toxic brutalism that I Don’t Belong Anywhere razes. A powerful chapter in the progression of post-grunge and the far less appealing “indie family-friendly” schematics, October Drift leave the scene upturned as we itch; hungry for more.

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