When it was announced earlier this year that co-lead vocalist Dan Brown was to leave We Are The Ocean, it came as a surprise to many. We Are The Ocean had always tapped into a niche market in the UK music scene and that was down to the efforts of all members involved, so it was left to be seen as to where the band went from here.
Well, what can be said is they’ve gone and done a “Deaf Havana” (is that a thing? I reckon it should be), and the aggressive vocals have seemingly just been completely forgotten about, which in turn has led WATO to a more mature and straight up rock vibe. ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’ isn’t a perfect record by any stretch of the imagination, but it does point to a band who are more comfortable with their sound; ‘Bleed’ is an absolute monster of a first single and ‘Young Heart’ just goes for it – especially in the chorus where front man Liam Cromby’s vocals come to the forefront.
Fans of We Are The Ocean who have seen them live recently will have heard ‘Machine’, and it’s every bit as good, if not better on record; the drums provide a thrilling backline to a song brimming with urgency – this song will go down as the best one on this record.
As previously mentioned, Liam Cromby’s vocals are big factor in why this record is as good as it is. The Dallas Green comparisons are tedious and obvious, yet they’re there and there’s no way to avoid it… just listen to ‘Chin Up, Son’ – it could quite easily be a City and Colour song but it retains its identity as a We Are The Ocean song. The influences that the band drew before are still there, but they’re not displayed so obviously as before, and the band have managed to create something of their own with the record.
The production factors on the album are raw throughout – there are some slight tuning issues here and there, and in parts the guitars don’t sound as loud as they need to be to help it hit a bit harder – but the way this album should be seen is as a stepping stone for the band. We Are The Ocean will only get better the more comfortable they become in this new guise, and we’re looking forward to seeing what happens next.
So what’s next? As this record comes out it would be better for the band to play as much from ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’ as possible, as it’s their best work. Having heard some renditions of older, re-worked material recently it just doesn’t work as well with the new line up, and there’s no particular need to go back to their previous work as much. The best thing WATO can do is to look to the future, as it’s going to be bright one judging by the quality on display here.