“Was it curiosity that brought you here?” — On Ocean Grove’s European debut

Ocean Grove – Savigny-le-Temple (FR), June 2017 © Mariam B. // www.plugin-mag.com
Anyone who knows Ocean Grove would agree one thing: their arrival in Europe (and yes, that includes the UK) was one of the most intriguing things to happen this year.
We have been following their quick tour, from the very moment they took Slam Dunk’s breakout stage by storm. Why such interest in yet another metal/hardcore band, you ask? Our cliché answer is : Ocean Grove isn’t just another newcomer in “the scene”.

Ocean Grove seem to be challenging every expectation listeners could have of their music. For some reason, they belong to the current “metal/hardcore scene”. But you can hear in their sound that there’s more than that: nu-metal, punk, grunge, hip hop, alt-rock and such join the fun.
Lyrically, the australians explore the same themes as many of their peers. However, they do it through fictional characters and story telling. Listeners inch closer to what the band describe as their “hyperreality”; a definition of the Odd World, that translates into music. Or is it the other way round? Ocean Grove‘s experiment with music shapes up their universe. Their futuristic soundscapes make them sound well ahead of the game.

Furthermore, Ocean Grove are conscious about their visual identity. It is important to highlight that these guys do all these things by themselves. From recording the music in their drummer’s bedroom, to creating their album art and making their music videos. They describe the experience as “bonding” (see The Rhapsody Diaries), which leads them to a unique vibe that renders in all their artwork, but also on stage. This is where Ocean Grove manage to make their songs translate effortlessly live.

Ocean Grove – Savigny-le-Temple (FR), June 2017 © Mariam B. // www.plugin-mag.com
 Besides their Slam Dunk appearances, Ocean Grove played a handful of shows in the mainland, supporting Beartooth. For their first time in the old continent, Ocean Grove found themselves facing audiences that are known for being hard to conquer. In suburban Paris, for example, they gave their all to a small and shy audience, in a (less than?) half an hour slot. They performed their “oddities”, shared moments with fans emerging here and there in the room but also showed thankfulness. And it worked. Maybe this is what makes Ocean Grove so enjoyable despite making weird music? Maybe this is because whether they play heavy Lights on Kind of Lover or dreamy Mr. Centipede, Ocean Grove are very good at being themselves? It only makes them more approachable. Their tour even rounded off with a successful, sold out headline show in London. Pretty good, eh?
Ocean Grove want to be the best at what they do and deliver nothing but thorough work and they are remarkable. Regardless of how much you enjoy their music, once you’ve crossed paths with Ocean Grove, chances are that you don’t forget Ocean Grove.
Ocean Grove – “The Rhapsody Tapes”, out now, via UNFD.
Ocean Grove will be on tour in Europe, supporting Northlane later this year.
Full dates here : Mesmer Tour Europe.

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