We Are The Ocean – Birmingham Academy

By paul

All Forgotten opened the show and I’m afraid to say they weren’t really memorable. There was a lot of running around the stage and grungy screaming vocals over heavy bass. There was even a faceless guitarist, who was bent in such a position that his hair was covering his entire face almost as if Cousin It had joined the band. They weren’t in anyway bad, it was clear that they had been working hard and were doing their best, something I must give them credit for however the sounds were not exceptional or stood out from a lot of other bands around at the moment. The 25 minute set did draw in the attention of the audience and was a good warm up for the following three bands. All Forgotten actually reminded me of We Are The Ocean a few years back, so the band could be one to watch out for.

There was something about The Amity Affliction that I really enjoyed. They weren’t particularly different from a lot of post hardcore/screamo/ whatever you want to call it type bands out there at the moment but these guys seemed to have a raw edge and a stage presence that made the room stand up and notice. The sound was surprisingly decent after a few songs in and the vocal balance was just right, although I did struggle to hear what vocalist Joel Birch was saying in between songs at times. These guys had come all the way from Australia and they were definitely making every moment count.

Flood of Red looked like they were really enjoying themselves, which ultimately makes for a better gig I find. Once again the vocal struggled in the mix but it didn’t matter as Jordan Speirs’ sweet melodic vocals were powerful and complimented his abrasive screaming. The songs were solid and strong and we got to hear a good mix of old and new and the buzz about the new album Leaving Everything Behind filled the room. Seemingly endless touring has given these guys a reputation and the eagerly awaited album was as well received when played live. These guys are all about the percussion and I really enjoyed some enthusiastic tambourine playing and a drum break, where half of the band switched their instruments for drums and climbed into the crowd to create an awesome rhythm section. The timing was impeccable and it was clearly well practiced. The quality of material being produced by Flood of Red was great and has a lot of potential to take these guys far. If by any chance you have not seen Flood of Red yet, get yourself down to a show now!

I’ve seen We Are The Ocean at least 3 times before tonight’s show and so I had a rough idea of what to expect. Instead I was really surprised by how much these guys have grown from just sounding a bit like a poor man’s Alexisonfire to a band who have developed and found their own sound. The band are due to release an album in January 2010 and so have been touring with the same material for a long time, yet they did not seem bored by it. The set contained almost all of the tracks off their 2008 self titled EP and were all singalong hits with the audience. Lead screamer Dan Brown didn’t spend much time in the crowd as usual, although a small pit was going throughout the set, it didn’t seem to take off as much as I’ve seen in the past which I was pretty grateful for. Liam Cromby’s vocals were deep and melodic and sounded more like those you’d find in a ‘rock’ band and the new material really gives him a chance to show off his skills. The songs were punchy and We Are The Ocean seem to have found a formula that works and have stuck to it. This was the best I’ve ever seen them perform.