Album Review: We Are the Ocean – Go Now and Live

By on Thursday, 28th April 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Three years ago, We Are the Ocean were finding their feet in the UK music world. Having just released their debut self-titled EP through their MySpace page, media attention began to heat up. Before long another EP came along followed by last year’s debut full length release ‘Cutting Our Teeth’ to critical acclaim. Next thing you know, they’re all over Rock Sound and Kerrang!, and playing all the big festivals in the UK. But can the momentum continue with their new album ‘Go Now And Live’?

It’s safe to say that We Are the Ocean aren’t the band they used to be in 2008: they’ve grown into one of the tightest post-hardcore bands currently active in the UK. Despite the post-hardcore moniker attached to the band, the screaming of Dan Brown has been toned down for this release. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the alternating vocal styles between Brown and Liam Cromby works brilliantly, adding much more depth than the usual sing/scream/sing combo. The punk element, however, is still alive and kicking. Tom Whittaker’s drumming is as fast as ever and keeps the high octane pace going throughout the LP. Kicking off with ‘Trouble Is Temporary, Time Is Tonic’, the tone of the album is evident – nothing but fun, fast, post-hardcore with more breakdowns than a 1980s Skoda.

Having already released two singles from the album, the band are determined to make it a hit. First single ‘What It Feels Like’ is one for the live shows, you can almost see the arms swinging along to the chorus, it’s a track that will grow on you like tropical disease. Current single ‘The Waiting Room’ is just as catchy and as a great example of the vocal work between Brown and Cromby. As it goes on, the song gets thrashier but stays firmly in its punk roots.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWTIgmAHFS4[/youtube]

Practically each song features the breakdown, for which We Are the Ocean are becoming synonymous with. But not every song is a punk-laden speed fest, tracks ‘Now And Then’ and album closer ‘Before I Die’ are both slower and still musically interesting. No longer are the band a group of Essex boys who tear up stages and scream a lot, they’re now a band who can write some of the finest post-hardcore music the UK has seen in the past year and can still kick major arse live. The only drawback with ‘Go Now And Live’ is the same problem that UK bands like Young Guns, the Blackout and Deaf Havana have – Americanisation. At times, the vocals sound like the band are from the other side of the pond, rather than sounding like pure home-grown talent.

The exclusion of screams isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the band, however it would be a shame if in their live shows it’s not included at all. Despite this album being an evolution of the band’s sound, it’s still good to hear Brown get nice and angry with his microphone. Apart from this slight American twang in the vocals, ‘Go Now And Live’ is a grower and will undoubtedly find its way into the playlist of your local rock club. ‘Follow What You Need’ could be the anthem of your summer if you let it, We Are the Ocean have mastered the art of catchy lyrics and aren’t letting you escape that easily.

7/10

‘Go Now and Live’ is available now from Hassle Records.

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