Samuel Hall

Review: We Are The Ocean’s latest album Ark “it leaves an almost empty feeling that does nothing to inspire another play through”

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Ark

We Are The Ocean’s fans have had to wait just under three years for the Essex rockers to release a new album, but the wait is over as the group release their latest album Ark, which, fans will be glad to know, continues the group’s natural progression from young, shouty upstarts to a mature, polished indie rock band.

In recent years the former-five-piece have aimed to discern themselves from the rest of the British post-hardcore scene – beginning with the sacking of lead vocalist Dan Brown in 2012.

Ark isn’t the ground-breaking piece of art that the band requires to establish itself as a staple of the indie-rock diet. Though, it will undoubtedly please a younger, less disillusioned audience going into the summer of 2015.

The titular track opens with an epic bang and develops into a tune reminiscent of many a James Bond opening theme. It’s loud in a beautiful, orchestral way – drawing clear influence from Wings’ Live And Let Die.

From then on, the tracks often seem to blend into one another – that is until half way through. Letter To Michael is a heartfelt, tender acoustic track and one that manages to subvert the previous six tracks’ monotony.

The diversity past this point is more impressive and hints towards an untapped potential. Holy Fire and There’s Nothing Wrong are particularly superb – they promise to be more memorable additions to We Are The Ocean’s extensive catalogue of tracks.

It isn’t enough to save this record from mediocrity. As inoffensive as it is, it lacks any real gravity and fails to leave a lasting impact beyond its sub 45 minute play time.

The album offers no real innovation and is one that looks likely to fade into obscurity as fast as it is released. However, it will offer encouragement to diehard fans without ever really impressing.

It is perhaps an issue of over saturation in the guitar rock market rather than one with the band or the album itself. In a year where Royal Blood have won a Brit Award with a near identical sound, this offering was never going to stand out amongst a very impressive crowd.

As a collection of music, the tracks are extremely well produced but are lacking in the rough-around-the-edges style that has elevated their peers to near iconic status. It is extremely clean and easy on the ear – which in itself is not negative – though it does leave an almost empty feeling that does nothing to inspire another play through.

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