We Are The Ocean
Go Now And Live
25 April 2011
by Danny Montana
If you think We Are The Ocean aren’t Alexisonfire rip-off merchants then you must be unable to tell the difference between an English singing accent and a heavily affected North American one. By this, I mean you’re an idiot, so shut up.
Copying a fucking great band, however, isn’t always an awful thing. Look at Silverchair. By saying that I’m in no way implying that WATO are going to sell millions of records and receive loads of awards, I’m just saying that them copying AOF isn’t a total cuss. These are indisputable facts. The thing is, they were (and still are) really young so they were only going to make better music in the future. As sure as shit stinks, they have done this.
The way that Dan Brown’s pirate voice and Liam Cromby’s silky smooth vocals were so distinct from one another’s on Cutting Our Teeth was the main reason for the AOF comparison but now, as Brown starts to sing more and pointlessly pirate shout less, the disparity is obviously much less pronounced and the songs are given space to breathe. Opening tracks, ‘Trouble Is Temporary, Time Is Tonic’, the big, big ‘What It Feels Like’ and ‘The Waiting Room’ are the ones which will feel most familiar to existing fans as the vocalist duo trade of each other but there is much more variety to be found here.
With variety and experimentation, however, does not always come excellence. It does not come here. Nope. After the ease and familiarity of the opening trio, it all starts sounding a bit difficult and strained. ‘Runaway’ is harmless enough as it plods along in a pleasant alt rock vein but you’d struggle to believe it’s about someone running away from anything. Not at that pace. ‘Trials And Tribulations’ sees the pirate voice opening it before the silky smooth vocals counter any piracy. It works pretty well but again, you struggle to believe there are any trials or tribulations afoot.
After the bro-core of ‘Godspeed’, there’s a decent change of pace for ‘Now And Then’ that still fits in with the vibe and sees the pirate singing properly which is genuinely interesting. The chorus bursts into a sweet and sad refrain. It’s a nice song. That’s pretty much the vibe of this album. It’s nice. It’s not “fucking wicked”; it’s “nice”. MEH. Big fat meh.
Is it a fucking amazing album that is fucking amazing? Hell no, but it’s pretty good. They’re still Loughton’s answer to Alexisonfire but now, instead of sounding like they were about to burst into ‘Boiled Frogs’ at any moment, they sound like a fairly decent melodic hardcore band with accents from nowhere who are more than happy to plod onto daytime radio. And yes, being on daytime radio isn’t success unless you’re happy for your favourite rock bands to sit alongside Scouting For fucking Girls.
It’s a decent step up. Ultimately, Go Now And Live is an excellently produced album but the songs are far from spectacular and there’s an air of disingenuity. It would be nice for them to be less American/Canadian in voice, but clearly the only way for We Are The Ocean isn’t Essex, there’s Camden and Stoke and Manchester to go, but it’s definitely not Wembley or Greenwich. (Unless they’re supporting Alexisonfire, obviously.)
Top Tracks: What It Feels Like; The Waiting Room; Now And Then
Guitar solo rating: 2/6 – you can kinda hear them
Sounds like: still Alexisonfire; other emos
We Are The Ocean – Go Now And Live tracklisting
Trouble Is Temporary, Time Is Tonic
What It Feels Like
The Waiting Room
Trials and Tribulations
Overtime is a Crime
Now and Then
Follow What You Need
Before I Die