We Are The Ocean / Go Now And Live / Hassle Records
A British underground enigma, Loughton’s We Are The Ocean have the tools to be a young, influential artist capable of creating unconventional rushes of post-hardcore mayhem. There’s the gripping rhythm section that drops, erupts and pushes vocal melodies into a flux of stirring alternative rock riffs picked with precision and a bit of impulse. Though it’s easy to illuminate the work of guitarist Alfie Scully, bassist Jack Spence and drummer Tom Whittaker, We Are The Ocean wouldn’t be as striking if it weren’t for their duo up front. The rash honesty roaring from Dan Brown and Liam Cromby conceived 2010’s Cutting Our Teeth and it’s screeching experimentation. One would figure Go Now And Live would be a refined notch above its not much younger rendering, but it’s more progressive than anything else.
There lies the stain; unlike the debut, the group’s second album tiptoes the fine tight rope of simplistic alt radio. Hooks are imminent (“What It Feels Like”, “Run Away”) and imprinted with contagious lyrics (“Follow What You Need”), yet they both question whether you’re listening to yet another hard rock rip-off falling into the “free popularity” line. Brown’s rasp is intact but missing that hardcore element, quietly supporting Cromby’s vocals which depict a younger Dallas Green trying to bite into The Damned Things’ ability to clash metal, thrash and pop. The desire to open up and explode is practically branded into Go Now And Live and so is the option of playing the safe card, which is also known by most as falling into that bottomless floor of neglected post-grunge.
Download: “Trials And Tribulations”, “Overtime Is A Crime”
[Find more album reviews and the latest music news updates on Twitter]