‘Delivering strength, passion, reflectiveness, and warmth, it’s a truly embracing sonic experience.’
Intro to Alex Ohm
Delivering knockout tracks since 2017, the arrival of Alex Ohm’s new EP ‘The Lost Persons Meeting Point’ signals the start of another sonic chapter for this Midlands based band. Featuring lead singer-songwriter Alex, guitarist Ste Ashford, and bassist/vocalist Hanna Maiden, the release is not only the first to fully showcase the band, but is without doubt their best sound yet. Not many of us could do what Alex Ohm have done, but by giving us 20 minutes of such strength, passion, reflectiveness, and warmth, they have turned a truly strange and isolating time into an embracing sonic experience. At times driving with dominance, at others providing mellow hooks and heart wrenching lyrics, it’s a masterpiece to bring loved ones together. Read more at: Behind the Music: Interview with Alex Ohm
Living in a time full of such uncertainty and fear, it’s hard to put into words just how embittered we are all feeling, let alone turn these feelings into a musical triumph. However, as soon opening track ‘Going Nowhere Fast’, you realise that they have managed to do just that. Built on an instrumentation of harshness-tinted bass lines and lionhearted percussion, it’s the perfect dosage of empowerment for those who need it the most. It pushes ever so slightly ahead of tempo. It never takes a breath. And with the vocals spiralling among their determined setting, you can almost feel the serotonin rushing through you.
Generating a sensation so strong throughout, a plethora of anthemic influences saturate the sonic centre knocking you off your feet. A fire-fuelled tone burns in ember-like fashion igniting every element it touches with rhythmical energy. Brilliantly juxtaposed with the theme of ‘going nowhere fast’, it constantly feels like everything really is heading somewhere. Likewise, the emotionally-driven lyrics scream a sense of hopelessness while Alex’s soaring vocals project assured confidence and positivity. A look to a brighter future perhaps. And then a juggernaut of crowd depicting harmonic vocals and guitar shreds head inside you, making you feel ready for everything that is to follow. There really couldn’t be a more perfect way to kickstart such an inspiring EP.
Moving through into track two, ‘Hours’, the lyrical theme of emotion and angst very much continues in a completely compelling way. Beginning with a simple instrumental consumed by the repetitive crunch of high-hat perfectly blended with anticipation filled electric guitar, the perfect cushion to Alex’s forthcoming vocal flair is formed. Projected and congruous, his words are so clear. Incredibly clear in fact. The softest of reverbs bring depth, without the message ever getting drowned out by the inclusion of them. And it is how his voice is introduced that makes this a perfect stand out moment for me.
Allowing you to truly immerse yourself, as the track progresses these earlier moments transform into an expanse of sound that drives home the message buried beneath the lyricism. A message that unpicks the damage and struggles of mental health. Phrases such as ‘I got a feeling I’m not alone in thinking I’m alone’ connect on a whole new level in this time when everyone is struggling. Meanwhile, the chorus itself encourages you to take part in a remote roof-lifting as you lose yourself for a few moments. Given this, it should come as little surprise that Alex realised the potential force for good and utilised this 2020 single to raise funds for Mind:
‘I wanted to raise money for charities that were helping people affected by the pandemic in another way. We choose music to reflect our mood or to alter our mindset. I’ve seen so many people saying how much they’ve missed live music – it brings people together in a positive way and creates memories. “ Read more at: Behind the Music: Interview with Alex Ohm
Further highlighting the revitalising vocals delivered by Alex, throughout each chorus of ‘Hours’ there is a collective harmony hiding behind the rhythm. Adding depth, adding volume, and ultimately adding that last push you need to drive yourself up and sing along to the anthemic energy. Sure it’s a track that’s innocent in its core, but spreading the word about mental health in such a blood pumping way, it powerfully delivers an all too important point as well.
Turning down the tempo a little, mid-point track ‘Breaking Up’ supplies you with a refreshing new sound within the EP. One that adopts a more sinister tone. ‘Breaking’ away from the sanguine melody, we find ourselves experiencing an acoustic cross-rhythmical groove a world away from the previous tracks. Then suddenly all this is stripped bare to reveal heartbeat-like bass drum. Isolated and intense, it’s a purposeful contrast, and establishing a sonic alternation you can’t get away from how different this track is.
Shattering your core with angst, every word that’s uttered projects a range of naunces. Everything from tenderness, to drama, to vulnerability is covered. Phrases such as ‘you talk so much but you never say a thing’ and ‘it’s like a lightning bolt straight to my head’ ensure that the mood is instantly alerted. Then shifting unexpectedly to briefly hint back to opening acoustic elements, shy, whispering vocal inflections emerge, only to transform to a full-throttle, distortion-driven pulsating conclusion. With such a diverse range of atmospheres, it really is a track you’ll find yourself becoming besotted with.
While true of all five tracks, as you head into ‘Sometimes’, you release just how powered by guitar it will be. Saturated solos emit an arsenal of powerful electricity, causing you to be hooked instantly. Likewise, passion roars through dominating riffs while the more delicate moments carry an oozing sensation. Matching with this, Alex’s vocals switch effortlessly between projection and phrases that blissfully pour into our ears.
Continually showcasing how much Alex is able to utilise his voice for the benefit of a track, you are led along a path that causes you to wonder what’s around the next corner. Yet somehow, rather than this meaning a lack of direction, every time ‘Sometimes’ turns a musical corner, it feels like you’ve arrived at the perfect destination. The most perfect of that being the explosion of screaming guttural shouts and tumultuous pounding toms that generates a headbanging finale.
While it’s without doubt that ‘The Lost Persons Meeting Point’ has already been crammed full of versatility and inexhaustible talent, and you wouldn’t possibly think that Alex Ohm had anything left to offer, you would be wrong. Why? Well because closing track ‘Time Waits (For No One)’ is yet again, another sonic masterpiece.
Switching it up one final time, we find ourselves firmly in a more acoustic place. Opening slowly with a Mumford and Sons-esque beat, you immediately feel a sense of warmth. You’ll notice your foot-tapping to the joyous rhythmical content too. But while this is the most compact of all tracks on the EP, this allows for is a wondrous flow of heavenly lyricism that nods to comfort and closure.
Experienced with phrases such as ‘I will hold you up when times are tough’ your heartstrings are immediately plucked. The contrasting ways in which the title-centre lyricism pushes the intention of not just the track, but the whole release home is a most beautiful stroke too. The biggest realisation you will have though is the strength of connection you find with them. For in what is that most understated track of the EP, Alex’s at times angelic and wistful vocal inflections, cause you to reflect, think ahead, and perhaps even shed a tear.
Beautifully woven together, ‘The Lost Persons Meeting Point’ is the perfect musical narration of the battles many of us have had to face.
Full feature by Emmie Norton
Find out more about Alex Ohm at:
Behind the Music: Interview with Alex Ohm