There's no real helping which bands and artists you get into in your teenage years. You can't choose to grow up in the 1960's if you were born in the 80's (I know, obvious but stay with me). This is why people still turn up in their thousands for nostalgia bands who have no great critical legacy. Take Motley Crue for example; it's mostly pure escapism to a less cynical time, a time before you liked Autechre and Boris. You will undoubtedly have records in your collection you would never have purchased if you hadn't been a certain age at a certain time. For me, this period unfortunately coincided with nu-metal so amongst other things I have owned albums by such no-marks as Taproot and Limp Bizkit. There's no point being embarrassed - you tend to go through music, films, hairstyles and whatever else quite quickly at 16 - and I'm not listening to Linea 77 anymore, honest.
It seems that this lot came up on the back of the noughties brand of metalcore and post-hardcore and still this EP has the wide-eyed purity of youth smeared all over it. This is ain't Crowbar, think early Killswitch and As I Lay Dying mixed with some glitchy electronica and even the odd horrifying hint of deathcore. One for guys with diagonal fringes over their bakes methinks. This self titled EP certainly echoes those other bands but The Ocean Between Us are competent enough to sound distinctive and are far from slavish plagiarists. The drumming isn't flashy but is unerringly precise, the guitars are thick and mix melody and crunch well enough, the expected clean/shouted vocals combination is present and correct but at least there's no horrible fake American accent to be heard. Sturdy foundations such as these will go a long way.
Opening salvo, 'Nice One Kid, You Just Brought A Knife To A Gun Fight', has lead guitar that layers effects like the sound processer from the SNES over a million juddering breakdowns, and a fringe-flapping, sing-a-long chorus. 'And Our Names Were Written In The Water' brings a little more melody with clean vocals taking more instant prominence backed by the familiar gang shouting in the back ground. 'Nowhere' drops the tempo for a hushed acoustic intro before sweeping into a crescendo of harmonic guitars and you feel another breakdown can't be far away. It's not. 'What Do You Stand For?' is all breakdown, all unison shouting of hand ringing lyrics as it becomes clear that The Ocean Between Us don't exactly have a huge repertoire. But they seem to care and have a lot of belief in the way the kids so often do and last track 'Hearts of Lions' cranks out the first decent riff on the disc therefore ending on a high.
Accept them, for they were you once.