Being As An Ocean have been through a little line up change since their debut with “Dear G-d” back in 2012. Now with a new drummer, Connor Denis previously of Sleep Patterns and Michael McGough from The Elijah bringing his entrancingly dulcet tones into the vocal mix, this Californian band is back with a slightly different sound.
“How We Both Wondrously Perish” has a real easy listening melodic hardcore feel with McGough’s clean, harmonious sound giving the album a sing-along accessible standing that is no doubt engaging them new fans, however it is the other aspect of this groups lyrical, vocal content that appeals to me. There is a very strong spoken word content to the album, lead vocalist Joel Quartuccio balances poetic, impassioned words in an almost visceral style along with more traditional; expected hardcore screams. With their name taken from a Mahatma Gandhi Quote about keeping faith in humanity it is not surprising that much of the lyrical content of the album relates to this, in often in a reflective and positive frame.
Though post hardcore elements are present in much of the structure it there is a tendency to slip too much into a more pop style for my liking. Whilst I can see the appeal to pursue this approach to construct and illustrate many of the emotive themes, especially supported by the high quality of McGough’s vocal ability, sadly for me it does at many points take away from the challenge of the spoken word aspects on the record. Tracks ‘L’exquisite douleur’ and ‘The Poets Cry For More’ are both strong examples how these elements can gel together well producing in both instances distinctly memorable songs.
An album that will certainly be of high interest to many fans of modern melodic post hardcore, “How We Both Wondrously Perish” does come across like an excitable first album at times. A step in different direction from their previous album and opening up too a much wider audience by expanding their sound, it feels like Being As An Ocean are confident now with where they are going, but in doing so they are still experimenting and finding their feet.