EP Review: River Becomes Ocean – December

RBOMaybe it’s the lack of sunshine; maybe it’s the deep roots in punk and rock and roll; but the UK hardcore scene has been killing it lately—and one of the bands you should definitely be watching are River Becomes Ocean. The band from Brighton are aptly named; their EP ‘December’ will take you far beyond the horizon across the stormiest seas, sailing away on high and cinematic melodies and dipping into the fathomless depths of guttural riffs and heavy drumbeats. Opening with an eerie collective chant about standing strong in We Will, you’ll be initiated into the turbulent world that is their new release ‘December’.

The EP is gritty yet remains as expansive as the ocean, with the contrast between screamed and sung vocals providing highs and lows bigger than any tidal wave. Blending almost seamlessly into the following track Lies, the dripping sound effects in the background call to mind a slightly calmer tide—that is, until the chorus hits, and the post-hardcore  are back to full force, dipping in and out of eerie quiet and epic breakdowns. Their sound is similar to PVRIS, if Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes was at the helm; and if that doesn’t sound like a match made in heaven, let their next track convince you.

Seven features a young child chanting an old nursery rhyme—what is it about children slowly singing nursery rhymes that make the hairs on the back of your new stand up? River Becomes Ocean have nailed the art of cinematic hardcore with that edge of sinister, so instead they’ve chosen to finish off the EP with a melancholy acoustic ballad featuring a duet to show a different and refreshing aspect to the band. ‘December’ is a strong and cohesive followup to debut release ‘The World Around Me’, and demonstrates the type of focus and precision you’d expect from a much more veteran band, producing an effortlessly powerful EP.

8/10

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River Becomes Ocean – ‘December’

Released: 21.6.16

Alex
A professional behind the scenes string-puller, in her spare time Alex is usually found spending all of her money in record stores or rocking out at shows. Pop punk is her true calling, peppered with a healthy dose of tv show marathons, and lots of iced tea.

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