The Ocean never fail to keep their fans’ ears occupied
The Ocean never fail to keep their fans’ ears occupied. Delivering two full-lengths this year is one thing, but both ‘Anthropocentric’ and its predecessor / companion ‘Heliocentric’ are loaded with thoughtful and challenging material forcing the listener to move beyond the simple consumer. Two questions immediately come to mind: 1) how do the albums compare? and 2) is ‘Anthropocentric’ the promised heavier counterpart to ‘Heliocentric’? If the various criteria includes ‘amount of distortion’ and ‘piano / vocal pieces’ per sonic square inch as indicators of heavy, then yes, ‘Anthropocentric’ is heavier. The title track, ‘She Was The Universe’ and ‘Sewers Of The Soul’ hearken back to the band’s Breach and Coalesce knock-off days with the brutality tempered by melodically sung choruses and progressively mature songwriting. Showcased is the full breadth of The Ocean’s capabilities as they weave in audacious and outlandish moments with driving guitars summoning Mastodon and a bellow that’ll have you thinking the otherwise clean-shaven Loïc Rossetti grew a belt-buckle length expanse of facial hair and doused his tonsils in bathtub gin. Then, there are numbers like ‘The Grand Inquisitor III: A Tiny Grain Of Faith’, which melds chintzy electronic beats and coquettish vocals, and the ballad ‘For He That Wavereth’ which highlights one glaring weakness: the tendency for Rossetti to cram lyrics into his vocal lines.