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Openside - EP Review: Push Back

21 Oct 2016 // A review by camy3rs

Admittedly, home grown pop-rock has never been a particularly easy sell in New Zealand, but when Openside started turning heads with last year’s single Worth It the group began a rather rapid ascent, opening for various international acts including Twenty One Pilots and Melanie Martinez, selling out their own secret headline show and culminating in the recent release of their debut EP Push Back.

The collection opens up with the hook-laden All I Really Want – catchy as all hell, the song initially comes off as the kind of upbeat, self-help anthem you might put on a mix-tape for your best friend who was recently dumped. Aspects of the lyrics seem to flit between points in a relationship and striving to maintain your sense of self, whilst some scathing millennial rhetoric comes forth in the line “What’s your problem with my generation? soft, indulgent, passive, lazy”.

The EP’s first single Branches follows on, keeping the momentum up with an obligatory pop-rock “da da da da da da da da” refrain. The song comprises some solid mixing - the drums especially, are super tight and the overlaid tambourine is a slick addition.

Good Boys starts more middling in tempo before moving through a pretty standard pop structure. The percussion sample on this track felt a little over-used and at odds with the general feel, but still a solid piece altogether.

If “upbeat melancholy” is a thing Down The Drain definitely fit the bill, the contrast of the track and the frustrated, semi-nostalgia of the lyrics is a refreshing change of pace before the synth breaks and cool introspection of Letting It Out steals attention.

Closing out with the title-named Push Back, the collection is a slickly produced taste whetter, but by no means a summation.


About Openside

Auckland based emo-pop quartet Openside have already featured in 2018 in Alternative Press, Line of Best Fit and Billboard’s Pride Playlist. With two NZ Top 40 singles under their belt, No Going Back and I Feel Nothing, their incisive examinations of identity and relationships are resonating with an ever-growing audience.

After spending the winter touring New Zealand to play to all ages crowds and having supported everyone from Twenty One Pilots and Fall Out Boy to Ellie Goulding and Panic! At The Disco, the group unleashed a three-track EP in 2018, Episode One: Character Flaws accompanied by its very own comic book and launched at Auckand’s Armageddon comic culture expo in October.

Capturing all the energy of their live performances, assured songwriting and production, the first single, Character Flaws is a self-described ‘anthem for the insecure’ that punches straight from the heart, reinforcing the connection the band are making with young audiences through their empowering messages, led by the group’s gender non binary vocalist Possum Plows.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Openside


Episode One: Character Flaws
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Push Back
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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