ALBUM: Only Rivals – Life Is Perfect

Release Date: September 18th 2015
Label: SO Recordings
Website: None available


Not many people would guess that this alternative rock four-piece who are stirring up a buzz around their new album ‘Life Is Perfect’ are from Dublin. Proving that the resurgence in British rock isn’t just coming from the mainland with this new LP, having toured relentlessly all over the country with bands like Lower Than Atlantis and Finch, their hard work may be finally paying off.

The four-piece manage to deliver a hearty dose of riff fuelled rock on this LP, making it catchy and enjoyable to listen to. Tracks like ‘Grudge’ and ‘Sing’ are filled with riffs on both the bass and guitar that are just undeniably superb. The production cast over the songs gives the guitars a raw yet crisp clear sound, even when things get heavy.

The energy is kept up for most of the album, but it does have some more tender moments. ‘Too Many Churches’, the penultimate song on ‘Life Is Perfect’, is a slow moving one filled with synth-like lead guitar and subdued vocals from singer Stephen Arkins.

Arkins‘ vocals over the course of the record are powerful and strong, being able to suitably convey the sometimes emotional lyrics through the fury of noise behind him. Having Arkins fronting with his vocals provides a huge advantage for the band in the UK rock market, with the potential to set them apart from the wave of bands that are hitting cities and towns across the nation.

Overall, ‘Life Is Perfect’ is a brilliant album for a band that have not long started. The sheer energy that is propelled by these four gentlemen on this record is parallel to some of the bigger players in UK music, like Don Broco or Neck Deep, and possibly even Twin Atlantic‘s earlier stuff. Only Rivals should have an eye kept on them from now on; they’ll soon be headlining the bigger venues instead of supporting.

Written by Ewan MacDonald