We Are The Ocean
Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow
17 September 2012
by David Keevill
We Are The Ocean aren’t strangers to change. 2011’s Go Now and Live saw the band playing with a sound that accentuated the band’s harsh but melodic core, most notably in reducing then-vocalist Dan Brown’s screams to fit a dynamic dual vocal interplay between himself and sweet-noted crooner Liam Cromby. This switch in direction made last year’s outing one of the more interesting releases to erupt out of the hardcore world. With the departure of Brown leaving Cromby as sole vocalist, WATO have retaliated from this incredibly tenuous position and have released a masterclass in versatility.
Whilst the vocals on Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow might be the most obvious departure from WATO’s past material, it’s the subtle changes that make this album sound so vital. Doing away with Brown’s roars has released WATO from the structural constraints that make a lot of metalcore bands sound identical; the uncomfortable bridge that exists between screamed verse and clean choruses isn’t a burdening feature here. Instead sparky punk-rock anthems fleck Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow, and with them come angular riffs, shout-along choruses and a sense of vitality that shows WATO asserting themselves over a previously untrodden fiefdom of music.
Pick a point in the album and you’ll come away feeling assured by this change; ‘Bleed’ boasts razor sharp punk-stained riffs and a chorus choking on its own bile whereas ‘Story of a Modern Child’ opens acoustically but quickly crashes into a charging rhythm that brings walls roaring down. However, it’s ‘Golden Gate’ that moves Maybe Today… up to a league of its own, soaking in its down-tempered mood and caustic slow-burn, the track epitomises how far WATO have come since the ragged aggression of Cutting Our Teeth.
Watch the video to ‘The Road’ by We Are The Ocean:
On occasion the saccharine, self-assured lyrics do grate a little but this is by and far outweighed by a collection of tracks that have re-imagined an amalgamation of heaviness and melody. What’s more, Cromby can bear an aggression through his vocals that has previously remained hidden under Brown’s mandatory screams.
Perhaps naysayers will holler for the kind of fierce but largely unimaginative fare that this Essex fourpiece used to peddle, but they are missing a trick; Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow has brutality and conviction carved into its soul.
Sounds Like: Rise Against.
Standout Tracks: Golden Gate, Machine.