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.
Title Fight are back with their second album, ‘Floral Green’, via label Side One Dummy, and it’s nothing short of amazing.
‘Floral Green‘ is one of those albums where right from the first track you know in your bones that its going to special. The album is a master class in post-hardcore punk, and it’s all rounded off with the perfect hint of melody.
The first three tracks have so much energy that they rattle out at you, like bullets fired from a machine gun. Yet they aren’t the only stars, on ‘Floral Green‘ every track is a gem. From the uplifting, high-tempo rawness of ‘Leaf’, to the slow waltzing, dissonance of ‘Head In The Ceiling Fan’ you can’t fault the band or the record.
If you like your punk in the post-hardcore vein, and for good measure you like energy broken up by a few slowed down melodies then you’ll love this album. If you hadn’t previously heard of Title Fight but you’re a fan of Crime In Stereo, The Wonder Years or Man Overboard, this one’s for you.
If you’re already part of the passionate Title Fight fan base then you’ll eagerly be wanting to buy this album anyway.
You have no excuse not to know who Bloc Party unless you have been living in a South American rainforest, licking neon coloured toads for the past 10 years…
I can sum up their latest release in one sentence. It’s absolutely bloody amazing.
However as this is a review, I won’t leave it there, so let’s get the simple things out of the way first… ‘Four’ is a tour de force of indie guitar licks, riffs and hooks with all the Bloc Party trimmings.
Kele and co. have made us wait a while for their latest offering, but as soon as you press the play button, and you here the drum beat and distorted guitar that signal the start of ‘So He Begins To Lie’ you wont be able to sit still. This album works its way into your subconscious and induces some serious moments of tourettes-style head banging and foot stomping.
There isn’t a ‘bad’ track on this album. It swings between slow burning songs that build to a crescendo with squealing guitars through to some southern delta blues inspired throat-ripping guitar chords. The truth is, it is easy to love every single track on the album; so to pick a standout song is a bit of a task. Saying that, the songs that went down best here at Crossfire has to be the hauntingly epic ‘Real Talk’ and ‘V.A.L.I.S’, the hooktastic indie anthem that will have you singing along in not time at all.
If you’re into indie/rock then you should own this album. It’s one of the best albums to grace 2012 so far. A near perfect example of what Indie music should be.