We Are The Ocean-Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow
Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow is a whole new era for We Are The Ocean while feeling like the logical successor to last year's stellar Go Now And Live at the same time. For a while the band's sound and dynamic has been steadily changing, the latter saw the band leave behind their heavier post-hardcore roots and grow into something more rock-based, bringing the huge widescreen choruses along with them. Their third album in as many years not only strikes, in a similar way to fellow rockers Lower Than Atlantis, while the irons are mighty hot but also delivers what is arguably their most confident, assured and consistently brilliant record to date. Put simply this is an utterly fantastic album that silences the naysayers and is every bit as epic and emotionally longing as its title suggests.
Opening with the short piano-led Stanford Rivers, once guitarist and co-vocalist Liam Cromby steps up subtly here as the band's frontman, his frustrated questioning of why he's "always falling from such great heights" giving a sense of unease and perhaps even a hint of self-doubt. This is smashed into a thousand pieces though as soon as the minute-long opener metamorphoses into raging lead single Bleed, an all-out attack on modern-day greed, the band sound undeniably powerful and from this point onwards it's an all-out assault of giant melodies and instrumentation that would sound perfectly at home hurtling through an open window on a hot day. Young Heart is a poignant and hard-hitting open letter from Cromby to his parents while the echoing chanted opening to Story Of A Modern Child creates a genuine atmosphere, on Machine though the band truly let loose, a more evident result of the band's change in dynamic, with Tom Whittaker's thunderous rolling drums accompanying euphoric bursts of guitar before the band add a brilliant touch of guitarist Alfie Scully joining Cromby on vocals, something that continues throughout the album. Scully doesn't replace original frontman Dan Brown, who's work in the band was just as compelling and unique, but instead adds a whole new dimension, an element that's allowed to truly come into its own on later track Pass Me By in which he takes over on lead vocals. It's perhaps the title-track though where the album soars highest, the optimistic searching felt within its veins possessing a genuinely liberating quality, Cromby nail-on-the-head line of "I spoke to a dove from a faraway tree, she said spread your wings if you want to be free" encapsulating this perfectly, it's an example of modern rock music at its best.
The album almost ends as it began on Chin Up, Son with just Cromby's voice and acoustic guitar, the crucial difference though is that the uncertainty felt in the album's opener is flipped here into a more hopeful sentiment with the frontman questioning "why do I worry myself?" rather than grabbing at external forces. It gives the impression that through the album being such a cathartic and changing process it reflects the band having reinforced their identity into something more powerful than ever before.