Wollongong’s latest export, OK Hotel, have just revealed their dynamic debut EP Stay Bright, bringing us five beltable alt-rock bangers that see the trio establishing themselves as up-and-coming Aussie rock legends.
Hitting the ground running, and guitar thrumming, OK Hotel have been steadily gaining support up and down the coast, receiving high praise for their slashing riffs, meaty choruses and belting vocals.
Heavily influenced by 90’s fuzz-fuelled bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins, best mates Jason, Liam and Josh combine obscure 90’s guitar, fuzz-pop and angst-ridden lyrics to create anthemic songs that have us turning up volume to max.
A coming of age EP that matured alongside the trio during a pandemic, Stay Bright, produced by Fletcher Matthews (Dear Seattle, STUMPS, Sweater Curse, CLEWS), hits that sweet spot between refined sound and a sense of angst, tied together with a bow of vigorous alt-rock riffs and Aussie accented singalong vocals.
“Stay Bright is about the disheartening effort of staying positive and finding kindness through weird times. We wrote some of these song ideas being so young it feels like a long time ago when we listen back. They aged with us in a way that’s hard to describe and it’s a record we’ll always want to hold close because of that.”
An instant fan from the first fuzzy guitar riff, Stay Bright opens with recently released single ‘Life is Crazy (Like That)’, the track embodying the boys’ 90’s influences with a contagious chorus and a gripping 90’s aesthetic demonstrated in the accompanying music video.
“Everything I wanted to say came out in the ‘life is crazy like that’ chorus line. It’s one of those rare occasions where the chorus writes itself with not much more than a single phrase. The song is about unhealthy friendships and questioning what it is keeping people together in the first place”
Debut single ‘Swim’ is up next, the instantly loveable track drawing you in with building hook-filled verses alluding to a thrashing chorus; head nods turning to whip-lash inducing bangs as the song progresses.
With no time to catch our breath, we find ourselves introduced to ‘Stars on the Ceiling’, an angsty track laden with familiar guitar-riffs and a scream-worthy refrain over a slapping instrumental breakdown.
Dear Seattle fans might find themselves falling for ‘Better Friends’ the song’s conversational tone about a strained friendship belted over quintessential Aus-grunge instrumentals. Good luck keeping the line “hey! Tell me where your money goes” from becoming your constant companion for the next couple of hours!
Rollercoaster track ‘What a Lie’ closes the EP, leaving us out of breath as we're treated to a surprisingly high vocal range delivered across subdued verses that climb to an explosive riff-filled chorus before looping back to guitar strums and braying vocals. Phew!
OK Hotel have served an easy to love EP that allows us to embrace our angst whilst keeping our Australian accent - what can we say, it's the dream. With this memorable debut EP under their belt, we can't wait to watch the boys come into their own as they continue exploring their volume-blasting sound.