28 Nov 2022

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

The Not Okays - Single/Video Review: Better Days

10 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Here we have the second single from The Not Okays, following on from their cover of Bite Me which came out towards the end of last year. Noriel Wong (guitar), Aaron Prictor (guitar, vocals), Lauren Kate Borhani (vocals), Caitlin Clark (bass) and Bahador Borhani (drums) started this band as a fun excuse to be able to go out and blast some of their favourite Emo tunes, and this is their first original. From the sound quality, musicianship and the video, one would never realise this is a brand-new band, but the three guys also perform in MIRA, while Bahador is also in some outfit called Written By Wolves so they know what they are doing. Add to the mix that there are two couples in this group, then there is no surprise they are close-knit and tight.

The song starts gently, with some riffing guitars, lots of hi-hat and not much bass, and some vocals in the background before Lauren comes in all sweetness and light. I was quite surprised at just how gentle this was, starting to ramp up on the bridge with far more drums, and then we get into the chorus which has an interesting arrangement. There is a staccato approach to the guitars, so much so that there are gaps in the music, which allows Bahador to provide the strong backbeat while Lauren comes through with plenty of angst and anger. She is not just singing this, but is really living it, really punching the EMOtion.

The second verse has plenty of rimshots which gives a very different overall sound until we are back to the bridge and Bahador is again around the kit. Aaron joins in at different points, but his vocals are kept in the background to provide a slightly different feeling to the sound, and when he is given a few lines his vocals provide another melodic string to their bow, with some nice contrast to Lauren. The song has plenty of energy, and may only be 3 ½ minutes long, but there is a lot going on which allows for plenty of contrast and dynamics. Most of the guitars are riffs, with Aaron and Noriel rarely going off on their own, and Caitlin’s underlying bass is often simple, but she also moves around the neck when the time is right, adding additional nuances which combine into what is a radio-friendly commercial alternative rock song.

The video catches the band performing, with simple light transitions on each camera change, and it is incredibly effective. Often, videos focus on the singer to the detriment to the rest of the band, but this has been shot in a way where everyone has their fair share, even with plenty of time showing what is going on with the drums, which virtually never happens. It is light, and again wonderfully commercial and ties in incredibly well with the music. Given Bahador’s history with videos for WBW one might expect this to have been edited by him, but in fact he was working on the new WBW video while Lauren was editing this one, and as Lauren said to me, “Just a couple of emos working hard at home!!”

I am still a mad fan of their last single (5.6K views now, not bad for a debut with no gigs to promote it), and the sound and image they are portraying is going to take them a long way. I know we will all be hearing a great deal more about The Not Okays in the future, so check this out and get into them at the beginning.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About The Not Okays

The Not Okays are a five-piece emo revival band from Auckland, New Zealand, celebrating the fact that emo was never dead.

Having headlined Ding Dong Lounge's infamous emo nights since 2018 with covers, extensive lockdowns gave the band the push they needed to start working on original content and continue to support the rise of modern emo.

Lauren Kate Borhani - Vocals

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Not Okays


There are no releases to display for The Not Okays.

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Gig Review: Lazy Fifty @ Paraoa Brewing, Whangaparaoa - 24/11/2022
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
For my only gig this week, not only am I out on a school night, but I have struggled all the way from South Auckland up to Whangaparaoa, and I must admit it has been years since I have been here. Tonight, Australian trio 19-Twenty are in town, but to be honest I am here for the support band, Lazy Fifty whose last album, 2021: A Lazy Odyssey, I reviewed a year ago.
Reuben Hudson - EP Review: Cloudhead
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This five-track EP is the latest release from Melbourne-based, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland, New Zealand) multi-instrumentalist and songwriter/producer, Reuben Hudson. Featuring David Harris on drums (Princess Chelsea), mixed by Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate) and mastered by James Goldsmith (Mermaidens), everything else was played and performed by Reuben himself.
Brian Baker - Single Review: I Won't Back Down
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Although Tom Petty was a massive success in the States, he never saw anything like the same in the UK until he partnered with Jeff Lynne and together, they came up with the masterpiece which is Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and had it on repeat the year I started dating my now wife, and any song from that album always makes me think of 1989, where I was, with no idea my life would be changing dramatically (and for the better).
Bad Jelly Collective - Single Review: Paradigms
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest release from Bad Jelly Collective, which comprises Ben Clark (vocals, guitar, production) and Dave Weir (bass). It is lengthy for a single, being 5:36, but that is due to the large amount of repetition contained within and the very slow build which takes place.
The RVMES - Album Review: Simple Things
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Before I started writing this I went back to my review for the guys’ last album, Lifetime, and part of me thought about copying it pretty much word for word and see if anyone noticed, as I spoke at length as to how many genres they were covering, and we have the same here, possibly more so. Most bands choose a genre, possibly going into a related area as well, and pretty much stay there.
Christine White - Album Review: Raven
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This multi-media project commenced in March 2020, and more than 2 ½ years later the release had come together with five songs (one of which is a remix of the opening title cut by electronic producer Paddy Free, so there are six tracks). These are accompanied by three music videos, and a book of short haiku-style poetry in two languages (English & Farsi), and there is no doubt that this has gained quite a deal of media interest, so yesterday I found myself listening to a very interesting interview with Christine White on RNZ.
Album Review: Goodnight My Darling
22 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
If it hadn’t been for an unfortunate clash with an event I had to attend, I would have been at Whammy a few weeks back to hear Goodnight My Darling, (Maxine Macaulay), and now I have listened to her debut album I so wish I had been able to make it. Still, at least this is now available so those of us who were unable to make it to the tour (last two dates this coming weekend in Wellington and Kapiti) can enjoy this relaxed pleasant romp through different elements of soft pop rock, singer songwriter and shoegaze.
Whero - Single Review: Easy
21 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
There are times when one hears a voice and it feels as if you are being held warm and safe, and that is definitely the case here with Whero, who recently released her debut single. If she has not recorded under this name before, I am sure she must have recorded with others, while this has all the hallmarks of someone who has undertaken a lot of live work.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
    Taylor Swift
    Meghan Trainor
    Drake And 21 Savage
    David Guetta And Bebe Rexha
    Oliver Tree And Robin Schulz
    Chris Brown
  • 685 (REMIX)
    Victor J Sefo, Lisi And Mwayz
    venbee And goddard.
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem