It seems to be a common theme that nine times out of ten, I feel ridiculously old when I go to a show. Despite being an 18+ show with a club night attached, most of the We Are The Ocean fans there that night were surely underage with clever fake IDs or at least of a lesser mental age than I seemed to be when I was fresh out of sixth form. Maybe it’s because I’m now considered a jaded old punk at the age of 21 (you know checked shirts and bat tats are so last year) and because I’m older than most of the people in the bands I’m now going to see. It seems that increasingly, success lies in bright and youthful eyes and a voice that seems as if it’s wise beyond those years.
That isn’t necessarily an adage that applies to Finish Him!, a local Coventry metalcore/deathcore/partycore/yourowncore (delete as applicable) band. Their voice certainly isn’t wise beyond their years, with song names like “Rosie vs Jim – The Final Showdown” and clips from movies overtly introduced before a particularly heavy breakdown. I tell you what it is though – bloody great fun. There are some ridiculously accomplished riffs and mental time signatures going on within the music as well as a great guttural growl from vocalist Mitchel. There’s clear influences from bands like Emmure, but they certainly have their own sound, and despite looking totally cool, sedate and suited up during the first song, they really went crazy as the set went on, giving their set an intensity to admire without losing sight of having a great time. I’m really looking forward to what these guys have to offer, and with a new record on the way, things are looking good.
Scream Blue Murder looked like, as Kitteh said, they’d just jumped off Myspace. Remember those metal bands who had the flashing backgrounds with dripping blood, a lot of black and red and virtually unintelligible logo? That’d be these guys. They’d gone for some threatening makeup, but just looked as if Black Veil Brides had taken a nap and forgot to get the cleansing wipes out. And they looked like they were only twelve except that one bloke we saw getting a tattoo when I was. Appearances aside, they certainly have some growing up to do. The performance was reasonably tight, but it was boring. Extremely generic riffs, growls with no real tone to them and a pretty average rhythm section. They showed none of the fervour that Finish Him! had, and when they hit upon a pretty good sound, it quickly vanished back into the maws of mediocrity.
We Are The Ocean are the kinds of people that are raised on hardcore but then decide to one-up it and create beautifully melodic songs with all the aggression and passion of the scene they came from. Far be it from me to question the glorious scene that was the 90s emotional hardcore scene, but if we ever wanted to reclaim “emo” from the media and give its original meaning back, We Are The Ocean would be the band to do it with. Their stirring anthems rang out loud and clear over Kasbah tonight with a resonance that other bands can only envy. Despite the room being packed full of dickheads with receding hairlines (I mean, seriously… when it gets that bad, scene hair can’t save you. Shave it.), the room had all eyes on the stage, or occasionally the floor when vocalist Dan Brown decided to take to the pit or the bar himself. We Are The Ocean have so many great singalongs and while the set focused heavily on second album Go Now And Live, the fans knew every word and were happy to show it. You know when you see a performance that leaves you a bit lost for words because it’s more than a bit brilliant? Oh yeah. This was one of those. We Are The Ocean are already doing rather well for themselves, as is evident from the customised plastic bags and yearbooks, but this is going to be their year. Don’t miss them when they come near you.