EP Review: OK Junior – Logic & Reason

I’ll begin with the promotional literature because it left me fairly confused. In a bid to be whimsically clever it manages to tell me nothing about the band except that they dislike Bono and Johnny Borrell and (presumably) they hate writing biographies. Don’t we all, but this doesn’t give you carte blanche to write something as bad as this:

‘The term OKJUNIOR is generally used to indicate a diverse group of small celestial bodies that drift in the solar system in orbit around the Sun. “okjuniors” (Greek for “star-like”) is the word used most in English literature for super stars, which is the term preferred by the International Astronomical Union. Others prefer “awesome” (Greek: “causing awe, inspiring wonder or excitement”), because it more accurately describes what they are.’

Right. Drugs are bad, mmm-kay? It continues in this sort of vein for a further four paragraphs and all I can glean from it is that the EP took a long time to make due to issues. Given the slagging of Bono and Borrell I assume they’ve been locked away from all media, working on it for the last 3 years. Well, that’s until you hear the music.

The CD case is something else. It’s one of those chunky plastic ones that you slip the CD into through a slot and then eject it again by pressing a little lever that pushes the end out. The artwork and info comes on a pair of big square stickers affixed to either side and the CD itself has a nice professional label. This is a really swish little package.

Playing the EP makes me wonder if this got lost in the post for 10 years, which isn’t to say the music is unpleasant: it just has a very strong feel of the late 90s to me. The first track is even called ‘All I Need’, meaning I was already thinking of Air when I stuck it on, and I wasn’t entirely disappointed. I saw in a live review of the band on our site that OK Junior have been compared to The Beta Band and that’s probably a fair starting point for describing their sound. They like their songs to be long, drenched in atmosphere and with lyrics that sound like they were lifted straight from the Morcheeba Songwriter’s Guide.

There are a lot of different layers here and they’ve clearly spent a lot of time recording and producing it. The drums sound mechanical, with multi-layered rhythmic elements and it suits the music well. It all gives me the feeling that the target audience should probably be at home enjoying a spliff. Even the ‘fast’ one is 3.32, though that does include a strangely out of place sample at the start.

The last track is 12 minutes long, but this is because it’s actually two tracks separated by three or four minutes. While the production of this ‘hidden’ track isn’t up to the standards of the other four, it’s not far off and I like it a lot, maybe because it’s just an instrumental. But I’m not sure why you need this on an EP? Why not just have a five-track disc, especially when everyone just rips stuff to MP3 and are then going to skip forward when the silence starts or grudgingly forward until the music starts again, feeling irritated.

In summary, OK Junior’s Logic & Reason is a great EP if what you’re into is a slab of late 90s underground Indie retro and you like your music laid back and atmospheric.

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