We Are The Ocean
Cutting Our Teeth
Label: Hassle Records
Release Date: Feb 1st 2010
It's been a while now since Essex Post-Hardcore quintet We Are The Ocean exploded on to the scene with outstanding debut single Nothing Good Has Happened Yet. Almost two years, two EP's, a shit load of high-profile support slots, and innumerable comparisons to Alexisonfire later - the band finally release their debut full-length Cutting Our Teeth
You don't have to look far past opening track Look Alive to get the jist of the band's more energetic side; Surging, powerful verses, soaring, melodic choruses, brutal breakdowns, and arguably the two best voices in the genre today. Similarly, 3rd song All Of This Has To End demonstrates their other side with a slower, chugging tempo and more intertwining of Dan Brown's scream and Liam Cromby's crystal clear vocal.
Most of the tracks on the album fall under these two categories, while many of the songs tend to follow a fairly predictable intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-breakdown-chorus structure and lyrics that are passable without being exceptionally tragic or groundbreaking. Instrumentally the band are solid, throwing in a load of neat, fiddly guitar lines which tend to sit in the background of the song. Drummer Tom Whittaker throws in some nice fills and a few interesting beat transitions, but the vocals are clearly the focus here - whether isolated, simultaneous, or sparring it out against one another.
The band do what they do very well, and it's easy to see why they're regarded as the UK's top Metalcore band at present. But my main issue with this album, and I suppose the genre in general, is the lack of real 'wow' moments. It doesn't quite contain the technicality of Architects, the riffing of A Wilhelm Scream, or the unpredictability of an UnderOATH record.
(I'll Grab You By The) Neck Of The Woods is possibly the albums brightest and most exciting moment. Led by a distinctive, delayed intro riff, Brown's drawn-out, abrasive screams are well complimented by another strong piece of guitar work, while an angular 'pre-chorus' builds up to the inevitable chorus...only to crash back unexpectedly into the verse riff. Confessions will probably divide the most opinions amongst listeners - it's almost Creed-esque intro a smidgen cheesy for me.
All in all the album is certainly worth a listen if you're a fan of Punk, Metal, or Rock in general - just don't expect it to change your life
Choise tracks: (I'll Grab You By The) Neck Of The Woods, I Used To Be So Much More
Recommended if you like: Alexisonfire, A Day To Remember
(Buy from Amazon UK // Buy from Amazon US)