Review: Miss the Occupier - Keeping Company With Wolves

Self Released (download & limited CD available only at gigs)

I first became aware of Glasgow-based trio Miss the Occupier some time last year when I saw them at one of Ste McCabe's Pussy Whipped nights.  I was really impressed with what I saw, so much so that I have made the effort to see the band on a few occasions since, and as this mini-album confirms, they keep getting better!

'Keeping Company With Wolves' sees the band bring together a collection of seven songs, all of which will be familiar to fans of the band's live performances.  It's very much a good old-fashioned indie record with the occasion nods to punk and rock.

The record opens with the title-track, which is lead by a cool bassline before it's joined by the crash of drums & guitar and the stylish vocals of Roz Davies, who really is the key element behind all MTO tracks.

'Smoke and Mirrors' follows, again sticking to the rockier end of indie, with guitars that sound like they could have been from indie's 80's hey day.  'Song for the Miserable', a live favourite, is a great slice of indie-pop and, despite its name, is an upbeat number.

The album takes on a more sinister edge on 'Your Fairytales', with fast-paced drums, a killer riff and dark lyrics: "killer in the bedroom wondering when you're gonna get home".  It has a real eerie sound to it, enhanced by the synths.  But the darkness doesn't last long and before you know it, we're back in the indie-pop world again with 'When Engines Won't Start' - which features the record's most poppy vocals, which in my mind drew comparisons to Elastica (the first time around)!

I have to admit that there are parts of the tune to 'Rapture' that remind me of something, however just what that may I am unable to put my finger on!  The sound all comes together on the chorus to create a proper noise - no bad thing in my book!  Closing track, 'Wish Me Luck', is a great wee tune, and one which lends a nod or two to Bis (you know you've heard that chorus before) and even Elastica (second time around, with the addition of Mark E. Smith).  It all works nicely, though.

'Keeping Company With Wolves' is another really enjoyable record from Miss the Occupier, who seem to have a knack of putting their songs on to record without losing their raw edge.  The production is spot on, as in just enough, which helps add to the sound.  This is a band I advise you to check out, you won't be disappointed!

Key song: Song for the Miserable

Rik Wolters

1st March 2013

Rik is a band promoter, music writer, musician and DJ based in Edinburgh, UK.  The Sound Project was formed by Rik...

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