Reviewer: Brody B
Ever since As Cities Burn released “Come Now Sleep” in 2007 indie bands have flooded the market, more times than not citing that album as a huge influence for them. I loved “Come Now Sleep” and still hold it in incredibly high regards, but the past few years have become a bit tiring hearing each new band take a stab at releasing indie gold.
That’s what’s so great about OceanSpeak though. They take the best elements of “Come Now Sleep”; the great range of vocals, incredibly intricate guitar leads, audible bass that growls through your speakers, and incredibly tight drumming, and make truly their own product out of it.
The hauntingly beautiful Soapbox features nothing but distant vocals and a steady buildup of background noise is a great intro to set the stage for lead single, Jezebel.
Jezebel fully encapsulates the sounds that best describe “Come Now Sleep” and also shows OceanSpeak’s own originality. The track opens slowly with natural harmonics coming from the guitars, accompanied by light picking, and ever distant vocal harmonies. By the time the chorus kicks in, however, even the most dignified of hipsters will be bobbing their heads in approval of the driving beats and the now belted out vocals of Jeremy Claudio.
Complain is probably the most straightforward song on the album, coming out of the gates with a fast and fun pace and never slowing down. The bridge of the song is where the band truly shines as Claudio belts out raspy screams while the chorus of other member’s vocals chant “There you go! Burning every bridge that we built”. All of this builds up to a moment of brief silence as Claudio howls, “You gotta fight for a revolution!” before diving headlong back into delay riddled guitar.
Hawa is a track where the instrumentals truly shine. The music brings to mind imagery of the ocean as groove laden base ebbs and flows along with a healthy dose of intricately ambient guitars and deceivingly complex drum beats. Things also tend to change frequently, which keeps the sound far from boring. The tom work towards the end of the song is also absolutely incredible and brings to mind some of the work displayed on Oceana’s “Cleanhead”.
Pirates mixes things up a bit in that screaming is scattered throughout the track pretty sporadically as opposed to the more structured uses previously. I think this works great and really spices things up, really adding to the constantly changing sound OceanSpeak brings to the table.
The closer of the album, Waves, is reminiscent of “Broken Voice” by My Epic. The track is an upbeat semi-acoustic track that features straightforward guitar work, drumming, and stunning vocal melodies. Although it’s more of a laid back song, the closer still manages to throw in many buildups and tempo changes in true OceanSpeak fashion. Waves is the perfect way to close out “Sea|The|Same”.
Overall: I think Brandon Jones says it best, “This band plays a spirited blend of dreamy, progressive indie rock mixed with the ambience of post-hardcore, to create a sound all their own. This independent band is fast on the rise and it’s time you check them out”.
RIYL: Oceana “Cleanhead” | As Cities Burn “Come Now Sleep” | Least of These