Origami Angel
Somewhere City


4.5
superb

Review

by hung0ver USER (15 Reviews)
November 26th, 2019 | 36 replies


Release Date: 11/15/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Take me down to the Somewhere City

Origami Angel are a bit of an oddball band. A scattered discography, including an EP based on the 3rd generation of Pokemon games and a debut EP that was more soft-acoustic-emo than the explosive energy of their recent output, makes them a hard band to *place*. Somewhere between the snotty, heartfelt emo-punk of Remo Drive and the hyper-mathy, clean pop punk of outfits like Tiny Moving Parts, the band's sound is familiar, but not instantly analogous to any of the big dogs in the pop-rock/pop-punk scene. They're relatively unknown too, with Somewhere City being their first full length release, following their eclectic (to say the least) collection of EPs and splits. They'd seem unlikely candidates then, to offer up a genuinely brilliant and creative effort to a blend of subgenres that, in all honesty, are fading from the heydays of the 2000s and early 2010s.

But with Somewhere City, that's exactly what they've done.

To manage the expectations of more discerning listeners, much like Remo Drive's 2017 debut, this record isn't the Ok Computer of emo punk. It's not treading any totally unfamiliar territory, and it's likely not the most polished collection of songs to ever grace your eardrums. What Origami Angel do on this record, however, is take a genre that has largely stagnated, and approached it with such blind optimism, enthusiasm and genuinely interesting songwriting flourishes that new life is found from nowhere. The willingness to take fairly conventional ideas and play with them, making something unexpected is possibly the band's biggest strength. From 'Doctor Whomst's almost easycore-ish fight riff close, to the danceable boppyness of '24 Hour Drive-Thru' and the blast beats that rip through the end of '666 Flags', no song is without some kind of twist or turn that is a complete departure from what you might expect.

There's some genuinely strong songwriting here too - 'Say Less' has an utterly infections earworm of a chorus, whilst the hyper-peppy of optimism of 'Find Your Throne', whilst not the most creatively written track on the record, is undeniably catchy. The closing track is an absolute class act in this regard - nothing that special until the halfway mark, at which the band reincorporate pretty much every hook of the rest of the record into a soaring, multilayered polyphony that ties the whole of Somewhere City into incredibly satisfying harmony. The rhythmic variety on this record really can't be emphasised enough, either. 'The Title Track' is almost borders on some kind of jazz-emo-punk fusion with it's commitment to seemingly relentless syncopation, and the intricacies of the band's TMP-style tapped noodling are well placed and impressive, although some may find the recurrence of these flourishes a little excessive. Perhaps the best example of this working is on the opener, 'Welcome to...', where a distinctly midwest emo flavoured ostinato gives way to an affirming, steadily building crescendo to kick the record off to an anthemic start.

The instrumental performances are fantastic; the drums are tight, the guitar is snappy and has a great crunch to its tone. Ryland Heagy's vocal performance is sassy, emotional and vibrant in equal measure, thankfully without the return of the half-rapped style that cramped the style of the closer to their Gen 3 EP. With these positives said, the mix feels just a little thin on the bottom end, and a couple of tracks like 'Escape Rope' sometimes feel a bit scooped out in their verse passages, but this issue isn't big enough to have much of an impact on the overall listening experience. Lyrically, the record indulges some pretty well trodden themes of loneliness, losing and finding sense of self and belonging, but with a general trend to positivity and optimism - a breath of fresh air in a genre with slightly more self-pitying lyrical trends. Whilst the uncompromising youthfulness of the lyrics could be a little tiring for those already exhausted by the sensibilities of pop-punk, they're by no means bad enough to mar an altogether surprisingly polished and coherent take on the genre.

Again, it has to be emphasised that for all this record's brilliant use of rhythm, variety, fantastic songwriting and entertaining twists on well-trodden concepts, this isn't anything entirely new. If you come in to Origami Angel expecting an avant-garde take on pop-punk you might leave disappointed. But if you suspend your cynicism for just half an hour, and let Ryland Heagy and Pat Doherty's frenetic, bright, surprisingly fresh, self-branded 'emo-pop' in to your eardrums, you might just come out the other end thinking Origami Angel have dropped the best record the genre has seen this year.



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user ratings (48)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Snake.
November 26th 2019


21818 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

nope

MotokoKusanagi
November 26th 2019


2397 Comments


just listened to the first half, pretty fun / catchy so far. will definitely dl the rest later

LotionLord
November 26th 2019


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

About time someone reviewed this.

SlothcoreSam
November 26th 2019


1330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review!

For a 2-piece band, Origami Angel create such a diverse sound throughout the album.

This and Mover Shaker- Another Truck Stop, are my current therapy.

Find Your Throne, has been etched deep into my primary auditory cortex, but it's not even close to my favourite on here.

Digging: Viboras - Bleed

Lucman
November 26th 2019


3597 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This album is so flippin good. Well written review too, take a pos!

Annnnnd bumped to a 5! This is just too perfect.

Digging: Brian Fallon - Painkillers

SlothcoreSam
November 27th 2019


1330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You should give Pom Poko-Birthday, a spin.

Great Art-rock/post? female fronted band outta Norway, it came out earlier this year.

WatchItExplode
November 27th 2019


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Missed this somehow. Will rectify.

Digging: Lunar Shadow - The Smokeless Fires

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2019


18981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This sounds so far like every pop-punk album I have ever heard but the band name is great damn what to do

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

SlothcoreSam
November 28th 2019


1330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listen again!

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2019


18981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I jammed the first two and went to bed but I SHALL !

Lucman
November 28th 2019


3597 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Geez, I'm not sure if this or Cosmic Thrill Seekers is my punk AOTY. I'm still obsessed with this thing. Like, the first half of the title track is so amazingly catchy. Can't get it out of my head.

madrigal30
November 28th 2019


443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

okay so i like this but it doesn't feel like the absolute classic ppl are making it out to be

Lucman
November 28th 2019


3597 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I get that. It's probably not going to shake up the emo scene in any major way, it just really, really connects with me right now.

ian b
November 29th 2019


594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this came outta nowhere and hit me like an eighteen-wheeler jesus christ

Digging: Lil Peep - Everybody?s Everything

WatchItExplode
November 29th 2019


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its fresh, punchy, and turns on a dime. Doesn't have the emotional heft of this years other favorites though.

madrigal30
November 29th 2019


443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i take it back i fuck with this shit heavy it's so fun

TooManyFriends
December 1st 2019


3189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

blast beats

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2019


18981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is very very fun

madrigal30
December 3rd 2019


443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed. even if you don't like pop punk i feel like there's some enjoyment here

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2019


18981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If this was 2012 it'd have 3x the hype



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