WE ARE THE OCEAN
19th September 2012
Giants have been gigging for sometime and have firmly established themselves as a band to be watched with their latest effort, the mini-album, ‘These Are The Days‘. The Essex band storm the stage with Ed Parker, their highly energetic front man, leading the charge. The riffs are fast and heavy, the bass shakes your teeth, and this mash up of skate punk and hardcore blast your brains out of your ears (but in a good way, if you can imagine that?). You can see that hardly anyone in this room had heard of them before tonight, but one thing is for sure, they won the crowd over completely by the time they left the stage. They are definitely ones to keep an eye on.
Then it’s time for the headline act to take to the stage. We Are The Ocean have lost a vocalist since I last saw them, and I’m not quite sure what to expect from the live performance. The band start with ‘Machine’, a solid new track, and the crowd loves it. However, the set comprises the old for the new, and although the bands new screamless line-up is as polished and as slick as Simon Cowells hair, yet there is definitely something missing…
The real problem lies in the fact that the new material is lacking edgey excitement and anxiety. You wait for the songs to reach their heights and then burst through a barrier and stand balls out in front of you, but they don’t. Now that’s not to say the performance is bad, in fact the band are great, it’s the simple fact that they’re not We Are The Ocean anymore. They’ll be people wanting to guillotine me for saying this, but if it was another band you couldn’t complain about the evening. It’s when they stand they’re old material up against their new that you see a sort of sleek and polished decline, and the fact they’re missing that raw, rasping voice in certain parts to push the songs into the stratosphere is noticed.
Like I said, if this was any other band and you’d have had me singing praises. I just have such fond memories of other live shows of theirs that this one was more of a damp squib. Regardless the new line-up works as a polished unit, its just not We Are The Ocean of old.
Last night we attended the ‘bunfight’ at the Camden Crawl curator meeting and came out feeling very happy with our choices of the bands that we picked to play on our night.
For those who didn’t tune into this process last year and wonder what the hell we are talking about the process works like this. The bands shortlisted by the many curators who are available to play are picked one by one by each individual curator in turn. Other curators may well pick the bands you want in advance of your turn and vice versa so you do end up with some surprises on your bill as we have done again this year, but generally most people walk out with at least 2 bands they desperately wanted.
We cannot reveal our full line up just yet but we will have 5 bands on the bill at the Barfly club on Sunday May 1st. What we can tell you is that we of course (by the rules) have a varied bill of genres that include indie, hip hop, post punk and thrash. The line up’s are picked like this so that the ‘Crawl’ actually works and people move from venue to venue.
Get your tickets in advance before it sells out from here and click here for the initial evening line up. We will reveal the 5 acts that we have picked very soon.
A word from the promoter before the show lets us know that this event is a couple of tickets away from selling out. It seems they completely underestimated something along the way as we get into the upstairs room to find it at possibly the fullest I’ve ever seen. Even for support act Cerebral Ballzy, it’s a bit of a strain to get any sort of view at all. And forgive us, but we don’t fancy being too near the front given both bands’ reputations for hurling objects (and themselves) into the crowd as well as a tendency to puke / spit / generally emit bodily fluids when on stage. Despite being confined to a small square near the back of the venue, it’s still possible to enjoy Cerebral’s exuberant take on old-skool punk rock and hardcore as they barrel through upbeat songs about “drinking til you puke”, “not having enough money to pay for the tube” and “girls”. It’s certainly obvious these guys are basically kids but that’s what makes their reinvention of the genre so potent and fun.
Trash Talk have pretty much lived in the UK this year and it’s clearly a big deal to them that this will be their last show in the UK until summer 2011. Even though that doesn’t seem so far away, I think it’s safe to say that the UK will be a touch more boring without their perpetual presence. Their music is somewhat darker than what has preceded tonight and menacing basslines are coupled with frenetic drumbeats and vocalist Lee Spielman’s shouty/screechy/growly sounds. Throughout the set, the mic is passed to audience members etc as Spielman literally climbs the walls of the venue (seriously, what is he holding on to?!) It’s almost as if the wirey, long-haired singer has been re-incarnated as Spiderman as he flips around, bouncing off the walls. Trash Talk have managed to carve themselves a niche in the live scene in the UK, somehow attracting indie kids and metallers alike to their frenetic live show and it’s safe to say that many will be awaiting their return with baited breath.