So, The Other began as a Misfits cover band in their early days and have since branched out to deliver their own brand of horror punk. Needless to say, I’ve been a fan for some time now. I love their We Are Who We Eat album. Well, it came as a shock to me when the initial excitement of getting my hands on a copy of their latest album, The Devils You Know, was countered by the utter disappointment I felt after actually listening to it.
In a nutshell, The Devils You Know is safe. There’s no danger whatsoever here. A tea cup chihuahua is much more dangerous than what The Other are presenting here. Not much innovation either. The songs housed within this album are a slow burn that never really materializes into a full blown blaze or even an abrupt unexpected flicker. You keep waiting for it, but not much happens. Perhaps this is in large part due to the addition of bassist Viktor Sharp into the fold. According to the band he had a pretty heavy hand in the writing process. If this is the case, then revoke that guys writing privelages!
The Devils You Know never moves beyond the point of decent background music. Compared to past offerings from The Other it’s just flat out boring. It sounds a lot more like some basic goth rock dribble than it does the bands early energetic horror punk works. It isn’t fun getting disappointed by a band you’ve been a fan of for several years, but maybe The Other just need to get one really bad album out of their system so they can come back and kick ass the next time around.
Musically, each song pretty much follows the same “attempting to get radio play” formula. Some are even dangerously teetering on the edge of ballad territory. Oh wait, the final track “Ewigkeit” is a ballad! Lucky us! What a way to close out the album. Honestly, not much stands out throughout The Devils You Know. There are a few fleeting moments, but they’re gone in the blink of an eye.
Metal Delirium writer Billy Metts recently overheard someone in the record store he manages say, “You don’t fuck with The Other.” Well, that’s because if they keep putting out releases like this one no one will even want to bother with The Other. Diehards will probably buy the double LP edition to get the limited comic book and bonus track. There’s no amount of comic or bonus tracks that can save this thing or make me buy into it. If you’re an Other fan what you were expecting probably isn’t here. You’ll probably tell yourself “well, every band has to change things up once in a while..right?” Don’t be fooled. Stick with the older stuff.