The first thing you notice when listening to the debut album Novella by Arms of the Ocean is that it sounds great. Regardless if you like the songs or not they sound like they are professionally recorded and mixed by Chris Lord Alge. The second thing you notice is that these dudes sound like a heavy dose of 90’s hard rock not unlike that of Foo Fighters or Stone Temple Pilots. The songs themselves - well there are some that are well-written and fully energized ragers and some others that sound a bit too much like something I have heard before. Kind of like a hybrid of hard rock bands ranging from the 90’s to even present day. Out of the seven songs there are more good times than bad and without hesitation I would say that these guys probably kick ass live. They have the intensity of a loud band as their amps sound like they are turned up to eleven and they probably daisy chain a number of distortion pedals that eventually find their sound out of a half-stack (maybe a full stack).
After a brief intro called “Foreword” which contains palm muted electric guitar and a steady kick the band eventually explodes as it seamlessly transitions into “God and Monsters.” The song rocks and it’s anthemic. I'll also take this time to point out that the drummer rips it up not only on this song but many others. Good drummers are a rare breed. Sludgy, thunderous toms, and aggressive vocals might be a couple of words that describe “Is it Sam Neill?” Arms of the Ocean might dig the Celtics considering the fourth track is called “Celtics are a Team. Go!” but the lyrics don't indicate that at all. In fact after the lyric “I’m as good as dead; An empty vessel deserted by my crew who jumped at the chance to have nothing left to lose” I was inclined to believe this wasn’t about a basketball team at all. Arguably the best song on the album is “Wolves” which has unique rhythms and rocks just a bit harder than some of the other songs on the album.
So Arms of the Ocean have their stuff together. They are a tight band that knows how to write one helluva rock song. The songs sometimes suffer from being a bit predictable but if you like this type of music you will be looking past that and instead be chugging a beer while getting amped.
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