Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Ocean Grove "Flip Phone Fantasy" (2020)

My attention has been captivated, the astonishment elevated as once again musics deeply fulfilling emotions strike hard! Unearthing this band around the release of this sophomore record has been a miraculous blessing. Along with the likes of recent discoveries, Puppy, Turnstile and Ho99o9, that exuberant youthful energy has been invigorated again but this time Ocean Grove completely blow the lid of my noggin. I have to control myself, the binging is excessive yet the music keeps delivering.

The Australian group left The Rhapsody Tapes with strong metallic roots. A glow of modern metal, the nostalgic bounce of Nu Metal and a Metalcore aggressiveness are left in the shadows as the band loosen up and evolve with a significant line up change. New vocalist Dale Tanner brings about a similar presence, elevating musical energy but his leanings into the style of classic Rap Metal and summery singing in the spirit Noel Gallagher gives them a diverse new approach to the nostalgia.

The track Sunny being a particular gem, summer of 96 vibes with Oasis on the airwaves and football glory on the mind... A peach of a song with a brilliant Nirvana alike guitar solo to bring about the goosebumps. A lineup change on guitars with Twiggy Hunter now on bass guitar has those bright gleaming distortion guitars really nailing their purpose as every intention feels fulfilled. The interlude tracks too feel a class above previous efforts, Baby Cobra's acoustic guitar and Dream Pop, Ethereal aesthetic being particularly charming and soothing in its dreamy nature.

The band have reinvented their imagination of 90s sounds, particularly Alternative Rock, Metal and Grunge getting a keen nod but once again, this is no nostalgia trip. Fusing modern wall of sound production and lively synths the group pull out a diverse set of songs exploring a range of vibes and temperaments with absolute clarity of vision. Every song on this record is self realized and wonderful. Its drawback may be a couple of less distinct tracks and passable rap verses which get by on spirit more so than the value of lyrics or delivery. Its a weak point that will be easily overlooked.

The best of the record comes through diversity. Experiments with Drum N Bass groves and dirty baseline noise on Guys From The Gord are fiery juxtaposed to its dreamy vocals. Shimmer goes for the uplifting, inspiring sailing into the sun, akin to the likes of Young Guns. Ask For The Anthem takes the biscuit with a fun jiving track full of Funk Metal groove you can't help but move too. Junkie$, the song that caught my ear and introduced me to the band is a true hail to Limp Bizkit with ridiculous raps and those phat and loose bouncy guitar grooves in the Wes Borland spirit.

It should be obvious I am enamored by this record. Rumblings of twenty to thirty year nostalgia cycle commonly observed in many artistic mediums have been brewing with the sounds of my youth and trend would indicate its simply getting better routinely. What will this band do next? Who will they inspire now? Its all to exciting for my musical mind to handle. Another amazing discovery along the journey!

Favorite Tracks: Superstar, Neo, Sunny, Thousand Golden People, Baby Cobra, Ask For The Anthem, Junkie$
Rating: 9/10