Ocean is Theory
Future Fears


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kyle Robinson USER (31 Reviews)
December 13th, 2012 | 22 replies | 2,646 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Contrary to what the album's title suggests, Ocean Is Theory has a bright future ahead.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

It's not hard to see that the outlook of a young person in 2012 is much different that it was ten years ago – or, heck, even five years earlier. Something's changed, and not for the better.

For those of us born roughly between 1980 and 1990, the idyllic nineties of our youth are a distant memory. We live in our parent's basements, indebted college graduates working for $7 an hour at Wendy's or Target – if we manage to find work at all. Our countries are run by people disconnected from reality, our neighbors' houses foreclose every week, and your best friend's dad lost his cozy IT job a year ago and can't even get hired at Wal-Mart. We immerse ourselves in entertainment, nostalgia, and shallow social networking, because it's better than having to acknowledge your country is bankrupt, you can't get a job, and have no prospects beyond eating instant noodles and playing Modern Warfare into the dawn.

This might seem like a self-indulgent (and pessimistic) digression, but it's necessary to frame Ocean Is Theory's departure from the hope-starved millennial mindset. When you listen to Future Fears, you feel something rather unexpected – hope.

It would be easy for a band like Ocean Is Theory to simply react; many artists have made their career on bashing one highly-visible public figure or another, as if getting rid of Their Guy and replacing him with Our Guy would actually accomplish anything. But with their aptly-titled debut album Future Fears, Ocean Is Theory strikes right at the heart of the millennial's generational predicament with a ray of hope. Singer/guitarist Josh Williams is more than willing to get his hands dirty, metaphorically speaking, by dealing with ambition, failure, and loneliness in the right place, at the right time. Although one could justifiably fear that the band might lose their edge upon signing with Razor And Tie – who proceeded to sit on the finished album for something like a year before the group re-acquired the rights and put it out themselves – the group has finally begin to truly show off the potential hinted in their first two EPs.

Future Fears is a refreshingly straightforward-sounding indie rock album that actually knows how to rock: this is a rock band that is not embarrassed to rock, contra endless streams of critically-acclaimed chamber-folk records by ironic guys with mustaches. The guitar riffs are excellent in every single song and balance nicely against Williams' vocals, and almost every song is packed with great melodies, though the first and last tracks are clear standouts. The group's rhythm playing sounds better than ever, and the songcraft has evolved fluidly since the enjoyable but somewhat derivative post-emo of their debut EP.

Ocean Is Theory has already attained what many bands strive for across a long career: evolving beyond their varied influences to offer a fresh take on one of rock's many aspects. Although not as earthy as, say, The Gaslight Anthem or The National, Ocean Is Theory has already grown into a fine, all-American rock band. 'Candlewood Lake' is the most obvious evidence of this, but the album's other nuanced tracks provide an excellent contrast to the straight-up rock that dominates most of the album.

So if Ocean Is Theory is so great, why are they getting a four-star review instead of five? Well, for the best possible reason: the album doesn't lack anything in particular, and there's very little to criticize (though personally, I wish the group's bass playing had a bit more presence; I've been too spoiled by the borderline indulgent low-end of groups like Acidman.) But on listening to Future Fears, the listener feels that Ocean Is Theory has just begun to show off their true potential. If the band continues to make albums of this quality, then contrary to the album's title, Ocean Is Theory has a bright future, indeed.



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheMilQ
December 13th 2012



57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review! like the last part of it, King Size Bed is fine.

Hopelust
December 13th 2012



946 Comments


Aside from the fact that your intro paragraph catches a very specific demographic, good review! makes me want to check this out.

henryChinaski
December 13th 2012



2685 Comments


I don't know. I liked their first EP, but this sounds rather bland. Need to give it a few more listens. Nice review!

instantradical
December 13th 2012



199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their first two EPs are okay, but I honestly think this is much better than either of them.

Vespiion
December 13th 2012



1221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The closing of the first paragraph is pretty deep, bro.

Pos'd, this sounds right up my alley.

Digging: BADBADNOTGOOD - BBNG2

Eko
December 13th 2012



2119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review and great album. I've only listened once all the way so far but I wasn't disappointed.

CaptainDooRight
December 13th 2012



28340 Comments


make sure this review is backed up somewhere as the mods might delete it, just a heads up

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

instantradical
December 14th 2012



199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why on earth would they do that?

Vespiion
December 14th 2012



1221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mods are really tight about not reviewing albums before the release date.

instantradical
December 15th 2012



199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

(Doublepost, edited)

instantradical
December 15th 2012



199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album's already been released, it came out on the 11th. The release date at the top of the page is wrong, look on iTunes. I got mine via Amazon MP3 after the release, not from a leak (I don't know if there even WAS a leak.)

Eko
December 16th 2012



2119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

date on the site is wrong it came out last week

muspower
December 21st 2012



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review and awesome album, real nice

dscherdieny
January 21st 2013



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Scared Now and When We Can Sleep are superb, really solid LP!

Ziio
March 14th 2013



55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damn, can't believe it's been four years since I've listened to Into The Mouths of Lions. How far they've come!

Sucks though that right as they release their first LP, and a good album at that, that they call it quits. :/ Last show is at the end of the month.

sharkmsc
March 14th 2013



65 Comments


Spoken too soon?

TrstN01
March 15th 2013



800 Comments


"Contrary to what the album's title suggests, Ocean Is Theory has a bright future ahead."

Or not.

sailSAway
March 15th 2013



838 Comments


^this

instantradical
April 12th 2013



199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I'm kind of bummed that they broke up. I'm not really surprised though, since Josh seems to have moved beyond the whole Christian post-emo thing. I'm sure he's going to keep putting out good music, though.

BurnedBlack606
May 5th 2013



407 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm a little over halfway through the album, really not too impressed. I had high hopes after hearing the catchy as hell While We're Young on RadioU a few times. It's not bad, just kind of bland, I guess?



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