Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Music Review: Oceana: Clean Head EP

“Clean Head”, Oceana’s new EP released May 11th, is the groups first release since their apparent disbanding in 2009. The new songs are more in the vein of the groups post-rock sensibilities, often being spacey, abstract and more often than not instrumentally repetitive. While being repatative may seem like a bad thing, the band skillfully works the same chord progressions into parts of each of the four songs on the EP thematically linking it into almost one cohesive song.

The EP starts off and continues strong with “Blue” which effectively sets the tone for the next fifteen minutes of music. The guitar tone is loose and jangly and the band almost immediately makes use of odd time changes. These time changes are so strange and frequent that at first it is hard to really get a feel for where the song is going, however they are done so gracefully that they are almost relaxing in their fluency. The starts and stops all feel very natural , you can truly tell how much work the band put into making the songs aesthetically pleasing as opposed to being strange for strangeness sake. The guitar tone has an almost southern twang to it and is augmented by the spacey fills of the second guitar , reminiscent of both of the now defunct Alternative group “Paper Rival” and experimental rock group “Circa Survive”. The EP’s single “Wool God” has an inherent spookiness to it, that when combined with the accompanying bright drum beat makes for a disconcerting and yet emotionally grasping experience. This theme of being off putting and yet mysteriously attractive is extremely strong throughout the entire EP. Being a new listener to Oceana, I was thoroughly impressed by the EP and look forward to hearing the bands future endeavors.


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