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Album Review: Ocean Grove – Up In The Air Forever

Artist: Ocean Grove
Album: Up In The Air Forever
Label: UNFD
Release Date: April 22nd 2022
Reviewer: Belinda Mann

Ocean Grove are an Australian band from Melbourne who formed in 2010. Their musical style is generally considered nu metal, grunge, nu metalcore and hardcore punk. The band themselves often describe their sound as ‘Odd World Music”.

Up in the Air Forever is a 10 track, genre-bending epic musical journey. Evolving from the trio’s early heavier sounds, the album finds Ocean Grove moving into the world of pop, grunge and punk that solidifies them as a creative force not to be reckoned with.

Fans would say they are no longer metalcore and I would have to agree as its clearly evidenced in this latest release that their sound has changed. Their first two albums were phenomenal and near perfect in my opinion with this album being a prominent change in sound. 

All of the tracks sound similar and have exactly the same song structures but just in different keys, so the album doesn’t really progress anywhere. In saying that, the production is insane and its catchy as hell. The chorus’ are nice with great melodies that make you want to sing along which I like.

They’re different band at this point, and that’s okay, it just might mean that fans familiar with their metalcore sound from previous albums The Rhapsody Tapes and Flip Phone Fantasy may give this one a pass providing the opportunity for a new class of fans to join the fold. I definitely wouldn’t consider them metalcore anymore, but I enjoy their new style in a different way. 

Lyrically, the ten track album delves into ideas about personal freedom created within dislike for a system that supresses anti-norm ideas. Following its first play on Triple J Good Nights back in November 2021, Cali Sun is a positive, passionate and uplifting track that is one of my faves. “It’s a nod to the land and opulence of California herself,” says Ocean Grove.

Channelling the angst the band felt during the COVID lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, Bored combines soaring Britpop sound of Ocean Grove with the Dune Rat’s signature energised chant-heavy skate punk.

Other songs that stand out for me are Noise, Sex Dope Gold, and Up In the Air Forever as they are completely different from the rest of the tracks on the album, the point of difference is refreshing.

Returning to their Oddworld universe with a living testament to maintaining a positive mental attitude, Up In The Air Forever is an album about “empowering the listener to reach for the stars” as penned by the OG collective. It’s an extended hand of hope and validation to anyone that feels like an outsider on this planet – a personal welcome from Dale, Twiggy and Sam to step beyond the normal. “If we can inspire people in that way, we’ve done more than we could ever ask for”.

Up in the Air Forever track listing:
Sex Dope Gold
Cali Sun
Silver Lining
HMU (featuring Lil Aaron)
Bored (featuring Dune Rats)
Up in the Air Forever

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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