Looks like there’s big things in the works for Leeds quintet The Ocean Between Us. Fresh from signing to A Wolf At Your Door records, the band kick things off on a high by offering up their mark to the world in the form of a self-titled five-tracker.
A notable point about this EP straight from the off is that it blends together metal and post-hardcore incredibly efficiently; there’s as much breakdown as there is riffage and harsh/clean vox, good start so far, but it’s plagued with a few minor roughages – vocalist Judd Wrighton‘s chords sound a bit frayed, especially from the opening of lead single Nice One Kid, You Brought A Knife To A Gunfight – a strong portfolio needs an even stronger opening, and tagged with a poor, indie-ish “da-da-da-da” chant hacked into the middle, this track in particular is a slightly confusing opening and a poor first impression.
Each track gives immediate nods to obvious influences, Bring Me The Horizon are surely rooted in there somewhere, but there’s also some impressive works that sound completely original in themselves; What Do You Stand For boasts a blistering lead guitar opening with some real moshablility and instantly puts the band back on track, while closer Hearts Of Lions stands out as the clear winner with potentially massive sounds fit for a large live setting. Gang vocals seem to be a must throughout, which works well in small doses and gives a bit of character to the record, whilst some of the more mellow parts give it a bit more depth and maturity.
There’s a lot right with this EP, but there’s also a lot wrong; it’s a tried and tested formula, scream/shout/breakdown/gang vox/repeat works so well for many bands, but there seems to be a bit too much of it in here without enough song-structure and story. Almost like icing, sprinkles and a cherry fit for a birthday, engulfing a cupcake. It’s got it’s great points, it’s got it’s downright terrible points, but The Ocean Between Us have a lot of potential and a lot of time to sort it out. Some people are going to love this, some are going to hate. Worth a listen, try for yourself!
– George Cannings.
The Ocean Between Us release their self-titled EP this month through A Wolf At Your Door. The band tour in February, check out http://www.facebook.com/tobuuk for details.