When London band We Are The Ocean began in 2007 and certainly upon the release of their debut album “Cutting Our Teeth” last year, every review and piece written about them never failed to bring up a comparison and the closeness in sound to Canadian veterans Alexisonfire. With second album “Go Now And Live” now released those comparisons will not exactly decrease but there are as many less obvious feelings of a direct influence as there are still blatantly obvious ones. So let us accept there is a shared sound and whether in copy or simple influence can be left to others to decide and just look at the album for itself.
The quintet have filled their album with ten tightly formed and delivered tracks which come out of a fusion of regular post hardcore sounds, indie punk and rock. Certainly this is a promising step forward from their first release, which in itself was more than satisfying, and though maybe it does not venture too far from cautiousness, it leaves many other releases in its wake already this year.
The guitar work is strong and vibrant from Liam Cromby and lead guitarist Alfie Scully, whilst the rhythm attack of Jack Spence and Tom Whittaker, bass and drums respectively, drives and controls each track firmly whether it is a hard edged or more melodic flowing song.
There is no getting away from the fact though that the predominant feature in the bands music is the dual vocals of Cromby and Dan Brown and here is the most stand out change in the sound of We Are The Ocean. The clean and impressive tones of Cromby are still glorious and soaring melodically, showing he is certainly one of the most notable vocalists today in the post hardcore arena, as well as metal itself. Where the traditional post hardcore dual vocal attack also involves a screaming shouting raucous sound to counter the smooth voice, and as the band employed on their debut, here Brown has turned to simply singing his parts. His voice still with a gravelly and attitude tinged tone is much more impressive and the perfect compliment and balance to Cromby, with each song excelling under having two distinctly different singing parts equally shared and the whole album and sound has benefitting remarkably.
On the excellent opening track ‘Trouble Is Temporary’ and the mid album dual blast of ‘Overtime Is A Crime’ and ‘Godspeed’, the band let rip with robust and infectious riffs, striking drums and bass lines, whilst the vocals are vibrant and attitude loaded. These are the stand out moments on the release, the high points that shows the band is still at its best when the five just let loose and come at a song hard and with a direct pace. This is not to deny the quality of their more melody based tunes. Songs like ‘What It Feels Like’ and latest single ‘The Waiting Room’ drop the intensity and pace of the heavier tracks but still burst with an energy that is hard to turn away from; their sound flowing with a Jimmy Eats World type indie feel and giving a consistency that also permeates the whole album from the rest of the tracks such as ‘Runaway’ and ‘Follow What You Need’.
“Go Now And Live” is a fine album and a good advancement from the last We Are The Ocean album. It may not be bursting out with new sounds and ideas or venture too far from safe ground but it delivers quality tunes and enjoyment. The band have yet to completely find their own unique sound but they have shown more than enough promise on this album to indicate it is not too far from their reach and future releases will be awaited with a sure feeling of anticipation.