“Weird and wonderful hardcore.”
Ocean Grove are unquestionably against the grain when it comes to modern metalcore, to the point where they’ve dubbed their sound as ‘Odd World Music’, combining sounds of hardcore punk, hip-hop and nu-metal into one big, demented care-package.
Their debut full-length The Rhapsody Tapes demonstrates all of this and more, as the Melbourne sextet ducks and weaves through a multitude of genres across twelve tracks. Sam Bassal cements himself as a highlight behind his kit, and the soaring clean vocals of bassist Dale Tanner establish themselves as catchy and melodic without being grating or overstaying their welcome.
Songs like 'Thunderdome' showcase the back and forth between Tanner and Luke Holmes, able to smoothly transition between heaviness and melody, and the chorus-heavy likes of 'Mr. Centipede' and 'The Wrong Way' give the album an inherent catchiness, that's somehow not out of place next to the likes of grime-influenced 'From Dalight'.
Fans of the genre that are growing tired of the usual hardcore/metalcore fare will undoubtedly find something to like from Ocean Grove’s debut. The Rhapsody Tapes is a weird sounding album in the sense that it defies traditional genre – sounding decidedly old-school while also keeping up with contemporary nuances, and listening to it is not unlike running into that weird, non-conformist uncle at a family reunion you never knew you had. The kind that smokes pot and lives off welfare – but he’s all the more a legend for it.
Dre’s Top Three:
- The Wrong Way
- These Boys Light Fires