Cutting Our Teeth
We Are The Ocean
Every once in a while, a British band come along with a certain amount of hype, ’the new Lostprophets’, ’the new Bullet’, people will (often misguidingly) say.
Well We Are The Ocean are the latest band to have such praise and tags bestowed upon them. A number of high profile support slots (notably with fellow Brits: The Blackout, Fightstar and You Me At Six), a well received EP and praise from Zane Lowe have built up a large fan base for the band. ’Cutting Our Teeth’ is their eagerly anticipated debut album due out in February 2010.
Opener ’Look Alive’ starts things off perfectly, an upbeat and energetic track which is satisfyingly heavy without becoming inaccessible as a result. ’Our Days Are Numbered’ continues in the same vein and the album as a whole is a mixture of these hardcore numbers and slower, more thoughtful tracks. The former are what makes this album a worthwhile listen, every one violently grabs the listener and refuses to let go, however, the latter style of track lets the album down, providing the odd high point, but also a number of lows, ’Confessions’ and ’(I’ll Grab You By) The Neck Of The Woods’ being the worst offenders, offering nothing but a loss of momentum. ’These Days I Have Nothing’ and ’Are You Proud Of Me Now’ give an album that was beginning to ebb away a well timed boost after these disappointments.
Much of this album seems to be influenced by Alexisonfire’s superb ’Crisis’ album, with a few hardcore clichés thrown in (think A Day To Remember). The dual vocalists maintain this illusion, one to tackle the gruff screams, the other to sing the melodic parts. This works extremely well on the more aggressive songs, but on the more emotional songs, a deep growl sounds a bit out of place. This is particularly grating on ’Confessions’. It is telling that ’Don’t Take Chances’ is the stand out slower track and on in which the screams are primarily relegated to the background.
Since the departure of Alexisonfire to Roadrunner, Hassle records have been missing a band to occupy the more melodic area of the hardcore scene, We Are The Ocean can now lay claim to that ground. Whether they can match the scale of the Canadians success remains to be seen, but on the evidence of this there is every chance. As is to be expected of a debut, it is not without it’s flaws, but this can be forgiven when there are clearly signs of a band with a prosperous career ahead.