Clean Head EP

Written by: DR on 11/05/2010 19:39:38

On the 19th of June 2009, Oceana announced they had broken up. On the 27th of June 2009, I wrote my very first review for this here site, which was of Oceana's second album "Birth.Eater". It was different from the debut; it showed a tremendous amount of growth - something extraordinary for such a young band. They had clear potential, but alas, they were no more... until a few months later. On the 3rd of November 2009 Oceana announced they had reformed, with a new-musical direction, and have been playing as a four-piece ever since.

"Clean Head" marks their return, but not to scene-territory, ohh no. Welcome new Oceana, who now don't scream or use breakdowns or do anything remotely Rise Records-y; They now play a sort of experimental indie. Hmm, the story a band playing post-hardcore, splitting up, reuniting as a four-piece and changing their sound drastically to indie sounds familiar. Where have we heard it before? Oh, yeah, As Cities Burn. Whilst on their time-off, these Oceana boys must have been listening to ACB a hell of a lot, because the parallel lines between the two acts run further than that. It's indie, sure, but in an unconventional manner. The instrumentation, though somewhat stripped-down, is able to pound and direct the tempo into whichever direction it pleases, from crashing 'wall of sounds' to settled, quieter periods, to those that bounce and urge the listener to tap their feet. Vocalist Brennan Taulbee's voice now sounds shaky yet emphatic, much like Mr. Cody Bonnette from ACB, but he's not a carbon copy. Where Bonnette's was delicate and brooding to the point of melancholy, which drew the listener into his world of dark, Christian lyrics of contemplation, Taulbee's are much more forceful, assured even, as he delivers lyrics that are thematically anything but assured.

Despite all of that, they're not a cheap tribute act. Think more along the lines of Oceana relighting the torch that As Cities Burn put down - dare I say it, this band have the potential to equal them. This makes one wonder how long they'll remain a Rise Records band, because they are only the band they used to be in one sense: they still mature and change, chameleon-like, with each release. Songs such as "Barracuda, Capital of the World" and the five-minute adventure of "Joy" demonstrate them quickly outgrowing the fringe-orientated nature of their label, and probably even a lot of their fan base.


Download: Joy; Barracuda, Capital of the World
For The Fans of: As Cities Burn; Mew; The King And The Thief; Circa Surive (maybe?)
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 11.05.2010
Rise Records

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