Thursday, May 15, 2014

Something October

The weekly column on South African bands and live shows.
 by Omri Ismail Cassiem

Band this week: Something October

Something October... no I really didn’t forget the name of the band this week, I swear they are literally called Something October, a small three-piece rock outfit that I would like to shed some light on this week. They have a lead singer, a drummer and a bassist. I need to mention, like Miles Kennedy,  their lead singer JJ van der Merwe plays epic guitar riffs while singing, and their drummer raps while keeping a beat. Add to that fact that they have great stage presence, with the bassist beating his poor bass guitar every show (seriously, I don’t know how it doesn’t just leave him!) and you have a recipe for a pretty good live performance.

That being said, there is one glaring issue that I’ve noticed. Ok maybe glaring is a bit of an overstatement, but if I were a ship’s captain and I saw it, I would change course, especially if the ship was unsinkable; we all know how that ends, with poor Leo drowning and Kate not sharing the damn door! Oh right back to Something October: their issue was an over-reliance on covers. It really doesn’t spoil my night or stop me from having fun (I think only my family does that), but it irks me. When you go to the show and you have heard that this band has a very talented lead singer and a rapper who plays drums and all you hear is Nickleback, it becomes irksome  (they do an excellent cover of Nickleback but I wanted to hear something more… Octobery. Sorry, couldn’t help myself there). 

I digress. They are a young band who are making music in Johannesburg so innately they tickle my fancy. Add to that the fact that the lead singer is a great guitarist in his own right and I’m pretty sold. I do see some great things in their future as long as they keep growing and playing their music. They also need to develop their own sound in a world of music that is so flooded with bands trying to be Creed that the real Creed left and became Alter Bridge. 
They did manage to trigger episodic memories of my childhood, which was fun, and that is really why we listen to music. It reminds us of moments in our lives, like Lifehouse’s, “You and Me” always reminds me of my first love and Nickleback’s “You Remind Me” reminds me of when Omri Ismail Cassiem was just a strange name, not a one-way ticket to random security check station at any international airport. Music is meant to evoke some kind of emotion, and Something October really does provide on that front.
So final recommendations? Facebook-stalk them 'til they play a gig in your area, then go watch them; they are worth it even though they are still unpolished, but give them time and they will shine. Yeah, I did just do that. 'Til next week. 
If you would like to know where I am going over the weekend feel free to follow me on facebook @ Omri Ismail Cassiem and twitter @Omri_Cassiem.