Otherwise, ‘True Love Never Dies’ – Album Review
The word “otherwise” may have a passive aggressive feel to it, but make no mistake about it, the band Otherwise are anything but passive and are ready to serve notice on the hard rock world that this is their time to shine.
‘True Love Never Dies’ is not just a group of songs, it’s a journey that tells a story. Sibling rockers Adrian and Ryan Patrick have dedicated the disc to their late cousin, a man they say always wore his heart on his sleeve when it came to living life. “We don’t really have the words to convey what the release of this album means to us,” explain the brothers. “So much hard work, so much sacrifice, so much heartache has gone into our music. ‘True Love Never Dies’ is a testament to those who have gone before us. We are deeply humbled to honor them in such a way.”
The disc follows a path through total devotion (‘Die for You,’ ‘Lighthouse’), the anger that comes from a relationship gone bad (‘Vegas Girl,’ ‘I Don’t Apologize (1000 Words)’), acceptance and self-analysis (‘Crimson,’ ‘Full Circle’), and the desire to make it all right again (‘Soldiers,’ ‘Heaven’).
Singer Adrian Patrick says that their cousin’s life played a role in the songs, explaining, “He had a tattoo on his neck that said ‘True Love Never Dies,’ and no matter how many sh—y Vegas girls broke his heart, the guy truly believed that and he kept putting his heart on his sleeve … We look back on the songs and we look back at the subject matter of every song on the album as a whole, and that title ‘True Love Never Dies’ is strangely fitting.”
Music fans are already probably familiar with the lead single ‘Soldiers,’ which was a perfect choice for a kickoff track as it shows the band’s ability to range of harder moments blended with harmonic vocals. The ‘Taps’-style drumming gives it that military feel, but within the context of the album it works more to salute those who fight for what they believe in as part of their everyday life. The track is built for the live audience and should offer some fan sing-alongs toward the end of the performance.
While ‘Soldiers’ shows the band’s heavy-to-light range, a good portion of the early half of the record is much harder hitting. ‘Die for You’ kicks off the record with a gut-punch of mesmerizing guitars and the powerful vocals of Adrian Patrick leading the way, while feeling like something that would fit in Three Days Grace’s heavier arsenal.
‘Lighthouse’ shows off some solid guitar play from Ryan Patrick and Vassilios Metropoulous, with the possibility for symphonic backing should the band ever experiment live. ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ and ‘Silence Reigns’ are two tracks that let drummer Corky Gainsford head off to the races with a chance to showcase his hard-hitting skills, while ‘Vegas Girl’ paints a visual picture for the audience and is destined to be a fan favorite with its chorus of “hey heys” begging the crowd to take part. Plus the harder-edged ‘Full Circle’ stands a good chance of being a future single.
But while they definitely show off their rock chops, it’s the melody that sets Otherwise apart. With the Patrick brothers, bassist Flavio Ivan, Gainsford and Metropoulous all lending a hand, the harmonic sound of this band stands out on such tracks as ‘I Don’t Apologize (1000 Words)’ and the steadily-building wistful power ballad/album closer ‘Heaven.’
All told, Otherwise serve up an impressive debut that should yield a handful of hits at rock radio.