At a time when so many bands seem content to play it safe, making music that only takes miniscule steps away from the middle of the road, Melbourne’s Ocean Grove are lobbing a hand grenade of sonic experimentation.
From the sinister nu metal throb of ‘Intimate Alien’ to the muscular dub of ‘Slow Soap Soak’ and gritty riff storm of ‘Beers’, this album doesn’t so much touch all bases as spit in their faces before setting them alight.
Ostensibly the soundtrack to an alternate universe (called Odd World) that the band profess to inhabit, the complete lack of creative boundaries is not only exhilarating, but built into their very foundation.
Their ‘Rhapsody Manifesto’ can actually be read online, if you’re so inclined (sample quote: “we would rather fade into obscurity and die out than live prosperously in a pigeonhole of mediocrity,”).
So, while the head-spinning mix of styles, paces and philosophical planes can be hard work on occasion, when they get it right, as they do on the euphoric slow-burn of ‘Mr Centipede’, this is seriously impressive stuff.
It would feel wrong to ask these aliens in musician’s bodies to tone down their truly, truly strange shenanigans, so we aren’t going to. But don’t say you weren’t warned.