Ocean Grove – The Rhapsody Tapes

In February this year, Melbournian nu-metal band Ocean Grove released their second full length album, The Rhapsody Tapes. They’ve previously released two Eps, Outsider and Black Label, and another album, Human Race. These releases had a more metalcore focus, and The Rhapsody Tapes show their evolution as a band and their exploration of other styles. Although “Odd World Music”, as this odd combination of styles has been dubbed otherwise, is what makes Ocean Grove unique and proves that they’re definitely worth checking out. The Rhapsody Tapes, written and produced entirely in drummer and producer Sam Bassal’s bedroom, is a brilliant “Odd World Music” record incorporating many different styles across the spectrum of music ranging from alternative to hip-hop, even to thrash metal. Every single song is a fantastic showcase of Ocean Grove’s talent and wonderful ability to mix genres and styles without it sounding utterly stupid. The Rhapsody Tapes is a great record and one that you can sit the entire way through without getting even slightly bored.

Ocean Grove’s music is completely unpredictable. You never know if the next song is going to be heavier and almost a fusion between thrash metal and metalcore, or whether it’s going to have elements of hip-hop, or alternative, or be completely slow and chilled out. And then, surprise, the song you thought was calm has a heavy as hell breakdown two minutes in. It’s amazing how every song still sounds great, and how Ocean Grove have established their own sound without branding it or giving it a pretentious name only they have the right to use. Like ‘alterhopnucore’ or something else ridiculous like that. Props to them. “Odd World Music” is just perfect.

In The Rhapsody Tapes, there’s a crazily awesome mix of alternative and metalcore, a lot of the screamed vocals actually sounding very much like Oliver Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon, during their Sempiternal era.  For example, when I heard the second track, ‘Beers’, I thought it actually sounded a lot like ‘Riding Shotgun’ by Anthrax (yes, I know Stomp 442 is not a celebrated album but it’s a pretty decent riff), and it is an incredibly strong potion of typically metalcore sound, a thrash-esque riff, and clean vocals which can be compared to the likes of Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember. My favourite track, ‘The Wrong Way’, is a lot calmer, even after the breakdown, and showcases frontman Luke Holmes’ incredible vocal abilities. ‘The Wrong Way’ is amazingly powerful and the vocals work brilliantly with the intricate, but not overboard, guitar work. They blend together perfectly. And to show the variety, one intermission track, ‘Slow Soap Soak’, is sort of a combination of electronica and hip-hop, and helps to cleanse the palette of the listener in preparation for even more awesome “Odd World Music”.

The Rhapsody Tapes by Ocean Grove is overly a fantastic album and definitely something that will appeal to many. When I was listening to it, I thought of many different bands, such as Bring Me The Horizon, A Day To Remember, Arctic Monkeys, Hollywood Undead, and even a little bit of Anthrax and fragments of nu-metal bands for example Slipknot and Korn. So basically, if you like music in any shape or form, then definitely chuck Ocean Grove a listen. They’re so different from everything out there and do what they do amazingly. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

Review by Mia Wels