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CD REVIEW: BEING AS AN OCEAN – How We Both Wondrously Perish


Label: InVogue Records

Release Date: May 6, 2014

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: Mike Hubbard

The sophomore release from San Diego, CA’s ‘Being As An Ocean’ drops on May 6 and I recently had the opportunity to give it a spin.  The band’s debut full length, ‘Dear G-D’, generally received a positive response, but constant touring resulted in 2/5 of the band turning over since then.  Joining original vocalist Joel Quartuccio, guitarist Tyler Ross, and bassist Ralph Sica are new-comers Michael McGough on lead guitar/clean vocals and 17 year old Connor Denis on drums.  It would be interesting to hear how the new line-up gelled, and right from the opening track ‘Mediocre Shakespeare’ the vocal influence of McGough is prominently featured.  McGough’s clean vocals contrast Quarticcio’s shouts, screams, and spoken-word vocals quite well throughout the 10 track disc.  ‘Mediocre Shakespeare’ comes at the listener hard right from the start, letting the listener know that the band has not lost any of its intensity and passion due to the change in personnel.  One of the noted characteristics of ‘Dear G-D’ was the stylistic variance throughout the disc, and they maintained that approach with ‘How We Both Wondrously Perish’.  For example, the third track, ‘L’exquisite douleur’ takes you across a broad spectrum of styles with a variety of textures that is reminiscent of Underoath’s breakthrough album ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’.

The title track is an instrumental that serves as an intro to ‘The Poets Cry For More’, an extremely emotional track that similarly covers a broad spectrum of styles, starting with a soft spoken word opening, leading into a clean vocal chorus, building to desperate shouts.  This song is a prime example of how ‘Being As An Ocean’ skillfully blend the talents of all five members of the band into a single piece of art. The eighth track, ‘Grace, Teach Us What We Lack’, features guest vocalist Johnny O’Hagen from local San Diego band Idlehands.  Quartuccio, McGough, and O’Hagen have three very distinctively different tones to their vocals, and they are all put to good use on the track.  The pace changes significantly for the last two tracks.  ‘Mothers’ is a soft, quiet number featuring all clean vocals from McGough along with spoken word from Quartuccio.  They even through in a mellow trumpet solo, which remarkably fits right it with the song.  The lyrics for ‘Mothers’ are very touching and personal.  The final track is ‘Natures’, which similarly has only clean vocals, although this time they are in harmony.  It brings to mind some of the softer numbers from Baroness’s ‘Yellow and Green’.

Overall ‘How We Both Wondrously Perish’ is a stellar effort from the band.  It shows growth and maturity since their first album without losing the elements that set them apart from the crowded often cookie-cutter world of melodic hardcore.  I’ve been listening to the disc over and over again, and anticipate that it will be one of my favorites in 2014.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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