Polyenso
Clean Head


4.0
excellent

Review

by East Hastings USER (9 Reviews)
June 19th, 2010 | 146 replies | 18,558 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "And happiness it does exist, but I don’t know that this is it"

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

Emotions can be a powerful force. Throughout our entire lives, emotions are what truly make us who we are; they shape our being by affecting our decisions, ultimately resulting in the combined virtues and vices that shape our character. In a similar fashion, emotions shape the creation of music. True musicians channel their emotions through their musical talent, resulting in the culmination of emotions (as passion) through lyrics, melody and rhythm that crafts a song or album.

On Oceana's previous full-length album, Birth.Eater, the subject matter of the lyrics (abortion) brought multiple emotions to the table - anger, despair, sadness, and a subdued sense of hope. The technicality of the music brought further passion to these emotions, creating an album that was filled with brutality, yet also beauty. However, what this album truly lacked was possibly the most important emotion of all - happiness. The ending of "Devil Walk, God Walk" was hopeful; yet there was no joy. It was a sort of repressed happiness.

With Clean Head, the band have decided to incorporate this new aesthetic into their music - along with a progression so extreme it will either alienate fans or give them reason to rejoice. Clean Head is different. It is sorrowful. It is marvelous, yet most of all it is happy. Songs such as "Wool God" and "Joy" (obviously) are examples of this newfound happiness, while "Blue" and "Barracuda Capital of the World" showcase mourning, sorrow, wonder, and occasionally a restrained sense of euphoria. Together these songs form a cohesive whole that possesses enough quality to be perfect - yet it's not quite there yet. Onto subjects other than emotions, here are some important things to point out about the EP:
  • The change from the metalcore-influenced post-hardcore of Birth.Eater to this new, As Cities Burn-style of indie rock is sudden, as there was no previous possibility of the band taking this new turn in genres.
  • The songs, excluding "Barracuda Capital of the World", all start the same way - too much like "At the Last" by Thrice, and while have improved songwriting from Birth.Eater, also have too many similarities for this new style of music.
  • The vocals, provided by Brennan Taulbee, have both improved and diminished since the last album. They have improved because he no longer relies on studio tricks to sing his melodies and for this EP are quite good; yet diminished because his range has gotten considerably smaller due to this new style. Taking this into account, however, the album's vocal lines are enjoyable, with highlights being the beginning of "Barracuda Capital of the World", and the endings of "Wool God" and "Joy".
  • The lyrics, since they are no longer concerned with abortion and orphanage, have become quite ambiguous, which is not to say they are bad. The true meanings of the songs, however, are hard to discern. "Blue" contains a large amount of these vague lyrics, with allusions to faith and confusion; "Joy" deals with happiness, as the title might imply; "Barracuda Capital of the World" contains the album's title lyric.
  • The music throughout the EP feels like a combination of new Thrice and As Cities Burn; despite taking a small step down technically from their previous album, all musicians do their job well enough to construct likable songs. The highlight of this new approach is "Barracuda Capital of the World", as it incorporates a bluesy, atmospheric intro with the indie rock on the rest of the EP.

Overall, Clean Head is a good listen for fans of the aforementioned bands, true fans of Oceana, and fans that are interested to see if they fall into either category. Here's hoping they can combine the style of Birth.Eater with this new style to create a truly interesting album.



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user ratings (202)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Mark A. (4)
Oceana's strongest outing to date....

kevin234 (3.5)
Oceana changes their sound for the better....

TheGameNeededTrevor (3)
Definitely a new sound for Oceana. Save for the vocals, this isn't too bad of a listen....


Comments:Add a Comment 
East Hastings
June 19th 2010



4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really feel like the first few paragraphs were just floating there, not connected to the rest of the review. Please comment with criticism and advice, it's greatly appreciated.

fromtheinside
June 19th 2010



17656 Comments


i'm sick of bands turning into ACB. still i'm happy this band is back, i'll go grab this.

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

East Hastings
June 19th 2010



4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

While I totally agree, I think this is a little bit different, if not completely unique; but it's pretty decent.

sspedding
June 19th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

despised this.

East Hastings
June 19th 2010



4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

aww. why?

sspedding
June 19th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

good review pos

East Hastings
June 19th 2010



4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thank you sir.

sspedding
June 19th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i loved birth eater and dislike the direction they have taken, nothing less, nothing more...

East Hastings
June 19th 2010



4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can respect that. Hopefully next album will be better aspects of this + Birth.Eater

sspedding
June 19th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i would hope so also, good job

fromtheinside
June 19th 2010



17656 Comments


whoa, this is not what i expected at all. its still really good, its just gonna take some getting used to.

East Hastings
June 19th 2010



4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's good driving music.

Carnifex
June 19th 2010



1918 Comments


Album is pretty awful if you ask me, I absolutely despise indie rock though so... yeah. Just seems like this band has progressively been losing their balls with each release, and this is basically the release that sees the band being completely neutered.

dnor
June 19th 2010



3978 Comments


I've played 4 shows with them, first time, they blew the house up, by the forth show, where they were on BirthEater, they were pretty much boo'd off stage.

Gaythiest
June 19th 2010



141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I adored this album, it was incredible and anyone who rates it a 1 is a DICKHEAD :I *Stares at Carnifex*

But naw. I thought it was really good. And I'm pretty sure they're all out refusing to scream anymore. Like they won't even do any screamed vocals live anymore if they play Birth.Eater songs.
fo'rizzles.

But this review encapsulated my thoughts of this album quite well, 'cept I obviously liked it more o:
POS THIS NIGGA

LG
June 19th 2010



3049 Comments


The new direction is really a love or hate thing. I embraced the new direction and love it. But I can see why a lot of original fans are going to despise this album.

Good review sir. :D

and the mixing of CH+B.E is pretty much what everyone is hoping for.

Mclovin
June 19th 2010



293 Comments


I loved the format of this review, pos'd. In other news, never heard this; should I check it out, Breadburner? (haha get it? it's a pun of your username AND another one of their songs?? get it? ha...ha...ha...)

Xenophanes
Emeritus
June 19th 2010



10584 Comments


got this confused with oceanO, lol

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

iamSeraph
June 19th 2010



857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this EP and it's epic for what it brings to the table.
so talented musicians...regardless of the genre, they always pull it off and show something incredibly atmospheric...
thumbs up for oceana - thank god they reunited.
heavily stoked for their next output .)

Digging: Everley - The Tyger and the Lamb

East Hastings
June 19th 2010



4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice one mclovin hahaha
and yes, based on your ratings it's a little different but i still recommend it for at least one listen to see if you like it.



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