Friday, 12 February 2016

Ocean Flaws // Dancing To The Fear - Review

Ocean Flaws have finally released their debut EP after a year of hard work. I interviewed the band over at The Verse, which you can read here, and have had the pleasure of having their 'Dancing To The Fear' EP for a week. Read on to see what I think of the band's release.

The EP kicks off with 'Intro', and provides an insight into the ambition of the band and what you're about to listen to for 18 minutes. Saxophone and reverb-heavy guitar starts off before a more piercing guitar comes into focus. The treble-heavy guitar and behind the pickup guitar play is welded together by some light drums before the first main track starts.

Mojo kicks off the album with a fantastic intro full of layered sounds. Whether it is the phaser guitar, the drums or the vocals - there is something to enjoy on this track. The backing vocals are a real addition to the track, as is the varied guitar in each verse, adding a sense of creativity often avoided with copy and pasted guitar work. Freedom always produces great lead guitar, and this is a fantastic example of that. The drums by no means are your normal indie drums, as they quicken at the right moment and take a backseat just when they need to. The build up is fantastic towards the last chorus, with the pedal twiddling guitar delay creating another layer to add to the song.

Having already heard 'Like a Fool' years ago, at first it was disappointing to see it make a reappearance. However, they have done a superb job of it. It may seem lazy to redo an old song, but there is sufficient evidence here to say this was not a quick rework of the song. Anyone who has been to see them live will know they have been reworking the song ever since release, improving it part by part. The bass is far more prominent and superior to the original bass lines, and the vocals are delivered more confidently, with emphasis on key lines throughout the verses. You can check out the video to the song below, shot at a school very close to home:

The title track, 'Dancing To The Fear', is a slower number from the band. Starting with harmonic guitar and a large helping of reverb, the vocals come in with a tale of liberation. The drums thump as they introduce themselves. Vocals are at the forefront of the track, and it makes a bold statement by the band. As guitar strum their way through the second verse, the track comes into its own just before the 3-minute mark with some delicate guitar reminiscent of The Maccabees 'Given To The Wild'. This is a great example of how music does not have to be full to the brim of lyrics all the time, or even drums or using all the members of the bands strings. The song ends as it begins, rounding off my personal favourite track of the EP.

Recently unveiled, 'Silver Screen' would not be out of place au cinĂ©ma. Bass starts the song, and then drums begin to take part. The vocals are probably the weakest on the album for me right at the start, but the guitar is teasing bigger things as the drums plod along in the background. The bridge is fantastic - hinting at the chorus, before pulling back to a guitar line that Foals wish they had written. They'll be jealous as fuck, this song is catchy.

Not once does this EP try to copy each anyone else, or even copy their past as 'The Shermans'. This is a promising sign of a new direction, and I wish them all the best. There is no self-indulgent bullshit that big bands like The 1975 and Kanye West can get away with, and I'm sure they will be the first to say they don't plan to ever to do that.

I really hope these guys go far, as they truly deserve it, and this EP is evidence of that.


'Dancing To The Fear' is out now.

Check out: Mojo // Dancing To The Fear

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