Review Summary: Overly ambitious.
It's been a pretty tumultuous build-up to the release of Waiting For Morning To Come
. Initially touted for a June release, it came and went with no words from both label and band. By August, BAAO announced their departure from the label, and plans to release the album independently. And here we are, in September, with the aforementioned album reaching our ears. So, what do we come to expect from a band deeply rooted in the melodic hardcore genre"
Certainly not this, that's for sure.
Let's make something clear though; Waiting For Morning To Come
is still a Being As An Ocean album through and through. It still wears its melodic hardcore tendencies on its sleeve, with the passionate vocals of Joel Quartuccio still a key ingredient to the well-established formula, but other than this, the new record definitely steers towards the 'melodic' side of things. The album is clearly build around the idea of listening from start to finish; five of the fourteen tracks are branching tracks, and as a result feel out of place on a shuffle playthrough. This works both for and against the quartet however; although it does certainly lend a helping hand to the album as a whole, it feels more unneeded than anything. One of these tracks, 'and fade away when morning came', really tends to drag, despite its obvious intentions of transition. These tracks tend to do very little with their runtimes (typically one to two minutes) and detract from an otherwise great progression into more melodic rock for the band. Songs such as 'OK' and 'Thorns' are built around the massive sound the instrumentation can bring without having to have a darker edge. In addition, clean vocalist Michael McGough is given a larger focus throughout tracks, and is rarely just left to the chorus. Joel has also picked up clean vocal duties, and adds some much needed variance to his oftentimes over-indulgent harsh vocal delivery, and mix well on a track like 'Glow'. Guitars are more subdued and lower in the mix, and reinforces the far more melodic take the band have taken on.
However, on the outside looking in, Waiting For Morning To Come
really struggles to do anything new or interesting. Songs like 'Suddenly, I Was Alone', a five-minute instrumental, struggles to achieve anything to warrant the excessive runtime. Much like the interim tracks, the entire album really struggles to find what it wants to be. Does it want to be minimalistic and moody" No, because tracks like 'Dissolve' still heavily revolve around Joel's harsh delivery. Nor does it want to be a throwback to the Ocean of the past, due to the large emphasis on atmosphere which, however admirable, really struggles to find a foot holding. Even when the album finds its groove, particularly on closer 'Waiting For Morning To Come', it only does this because it treads familiar territory, sounding like a B-side from a previous album with just a touch of atmospheric undertones.
So, with such a huge build-up to an otherwise disappointing album, it's a bitter pill to swallow for casual listeners and fans alike. Waiting For Morning To Come
finds itself switching between old and new sounds, resulting in a jarring listen that lacks enough depth to keep the listener coming back. Sure, it's something to sit back and relax to, but it only does this periodically
. The atmosphere built throughout is consistently either shattered by a more hardcore-esque track, or by a track simply just not doing anything
, which is disappointing. At times, Waiting For Morning To Come
really hits the mark, but despite this, it misses far too often to really warrant such a overly long, under-utilised progression.
Seek Out: 'Glow', 'Waiting For Morning To Come',
Avoid: 'Suddenly, I Was Alone', every lower-case track