Review Summary: Following on from their two EP's which followed this release, this is a solid debut album which shows the band developing their own signature sound.
We Are The Ocean have come quite a long way in the past 4 or 5 years since their formation. The 5 piece Post Hardcore band from Essex have released two full length albums (and are set to record their third album next month) as well as two EP's, and have supported some pretty big bands in the rock scene, from Funeral for a Friend to Lostprophets. This here is their first full length album, following on from their two successful EPs.
As good as their early EPs were, there was one factor which stood out: their sound was pretty similar to Canadian Post Hardcore kings Alexisonfire. Are the similarities still there on their debut album" Well, while there are still some similarities, the band seem to be attempting to shake themselves of these similarities, and start building to their own individual sound.
How would I describe the sound on this album" Well, like most bands of their like, their sound contains a balance of aggression and melody, although on this album, they're focusing more on the latter then the former, although the bite is still there. Take track 2, 'Our Days Are Numbered', for instance. The song starts off with a heavy verse, lead by the screams of screamer Dan Brown, and then follows into a more melodic chorus with guitarist/singer Liam Cromby singing before switching back to Dan for the next verse. While having both a screamer and a singer/guitarist doesn't exactly shake away the Alexisonfire comparisons, the band are able to use the twin vocal dynamic to their advantage, using it to blend the heavy and melodic elements of their songs.
While quite a few of the songs are fast paced, sing/scream styled songs, there are some songs where the band slow things down, creating slower songs. A good example of this is the melodic single 'All Of This Has To End', where Dan's screaming takes a back seat, only being used in the pre chorus and the second verse as well as backing vocals during the chorus, with Liam's vocals fronting the song, giving the song a really melodic feel.
Something We Are The Ocean seem to have avoided on this album is the same trap that many bands of their ilk fall into (and their first EP (to some extent) did): sounding like yet another Post Hardcore clone with songs that could have been written by any of the several same sounding bands in the genre. While admittedly, the songs themselves aren't exactly anything new, but the band add their stamp to the songs with their sense of melody placed upon quite a few of their songs, and the scream/shout and singing dynamic from the vocalists which doesn't sound like it could be done by any other band. I doubt that people will mistake songs such as 'Look Alive' and '(I'll Grab You By The) Neck Of The Woods' as songs by any other band.
Overall, this album is a solid debut album from the band, and helps to set them apart from the many bands in the Post Hardcore scene. While it's nothing too new musically, it's still a great Post Hardcore record, and it shows signs of a band growing and developing their sound.
'Our Days Our Numbered'
'All Of This Has To End'
'(I'll Grab You By) The Neck Of The Woods'