Pacific Ocean Fire - Strangers and Deranged Patients

I was dreading this was going to be a feel friendly, optimistic, mellow Cd that is so annoying you want to throw it off a cliff to the crashing waters below. What a relief to find it was nothing of the sort, just a little more upbeat and a little more unsettled.

This Leicester-based band offers some rather odd and at times confusing sides to the tracks on their new album ‘Strangers and Deranged Patients’. Saturated in passion and dedication, each track lives in its own time and for its own purpose. Some tracks flow easily with steady beats, straightforward melodies and lovely sounds, while others are up in the air and out of place. ‘Yr Name On A Tombstone Blues’ is an example where a track changes rhythm and pace extremely quickly; one minute it is has a steady beat then a crashing drum and guitars.

One thing that remains constant are the simplicity of the instruments creating quite cleverly produced intersections. The solo in ‘When The Preacher Snaps His Fingers’ is very intense yet simple with handclaps and brass. Harmonica seems to play a large part of the music Pacific Ocean Fire is producing with carefully mastered rhythms in ‘Death On Yr Birthday’ and ‘Honky Tonkin Troubled Times’ to name but a few.

Vocals throughout the album stand steadily and stationary. The female voice participating on ‘Leaving Dusty Footprints’ seems to alter the change of the album for a few minutes, but not for long. One thing that was disappointing was the lack of awareness when swearing. In such as track as ‘No Heroics, Please’ and ‘Comic Book Story’ there seemed no natural reason, no emotion as to why swear.

‘Lightening Strikes The Plane’ is probably the only track that seems to be able to stand alone with no music interventions having been placed mid centre and bringing the track to a crashing end. The mix of harmonica and electric guitar wouldn’t usually make for a perfect pair but here seem to stand together perfectly.

The remainder of the album is probably best judged by you.