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First surfacing with a sombre attitude and a monochrome wardrobe to match, comically gothic London band O Children soon earned themselves a reputation for creating Joy Division styled post-punk that was as depressingly dour as it was depressingly unoriginal. Two years after the release of their eponymous debut album, though, they are in a different place – a world much more complex in structure and richer in detail that sees them reach new sonic heights. ‘Apnea’ remains a gloomy affair, but one which snakes around the back roads of doom-filled indie from the 1980s.

Opener ‘Holy Wood’ holds snaps of Echo & The Bunnymen duelling with Simpleminds, while elsewhere The Cure drip onto the band’s second album. Tobi O’Kandi’s distinctive baritone voice still towers as tall as he 6ft 7” frame,  his Nick Cave-ian overtones at their richest on ‘PT Cruiser’, which, like ‘I know (You Love Me)’, is striving for the same ballpark as The Horrors recent output. It’s not too far off, and ‘Apnea’ is a step forward that O Children can be proud of.

By Nathan Westley

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