Octane OK-So Alive EP

Creating sounds aimed straight at the arenas Birmingham four-piece Octane OK's debut EP is a collection of huge sounding pop-rock songs that are tailor-made for the radio while often retaining a sense of purpose and punch.

Opener 'The One' represents what's to follow perfectly with its stadium chorus and giant guitars encapsulating a melody that'll be stuck in the head for days, vocalist/guitarist Paul Tandy delivering an engaging vocal line that draws you in and gives the song a solid identity. Single 'Fly Again' has a killer chorus with Tandy at times sounding similar to Kids In Glass Houses' vocalist Aled Philips in his occasional husky tones while 'Pretty Lady' surprisingly packs a sudden breakdown that gives a hint of edge to the band's sound and encouragingly so. It's not life-changing but it's decent and holds potential.

On the flipside, Tandy can often sound like he's trying to badly emulate Jon Bon Jovi which nobody wants and acoustic-led closer 'Parties Over' is a definite misstep, falling completely into bad ballad territory featuring dodgy keys and a lame chorus that are better left alone. The EP is therefore at its best when, (although throughout gleaming with a pop sheen), it's slightly rawer and edgier, the aforementioned 'Pretty Lady' being the best example of this. Coupled with the record's opener it's the most engaging moment on the EP and, although it loses its way towards the end, it holds potential and could see success for the band if they channel such strengths on their forthcoming debut album. Romesh Dodangoda's production is also brilliantly clear as usual and the band would do well to work with him again.

This is a decent hit and miss affair that you should check out if you like your rock big and radio-ready.