I'd like to take this time to extend a personal apology to Norfolk, VA's Over The Ocean for not finding them sooner. Besides being not what I expected AT ALL, it's an incredible work. This feels like the end of Summer, the last scoop of ice cream, the final episode. It's melancholy, beautiful, spacious, bleak, and hopeful. And the heaviness of the rhythm is pretty stabby. Not your typical rock band. They are equal parts darkness, cold mornings (mournings), expressed wisdom and experience..
The whole album starts off on a rather cold note with "Herons". It really has this subdued, thoughtful feel to it that sets up the mood of the rest of the album nicely. "Riverbed" opens with lines: "my friend died in a car crash... it's a hard thing to understand"... creating the air of dreary days, losses, and sun going down. "God In My Own Image" slaps you in the face with harsh vocals, whispers, and clean singing, and spiritual questioning in a very cohesive manner, allowing the breadth of the whole album to culminate right there in one song.
The following 8 tunes wind down in such a way that the album can be listened to over and over again without one barely noticing. Lots of ambient soundscapes, noisy movements, echo-ey passages, and the trusty guitar screeching. "Air In My Lungs" is a delicate acoustic song, played with emotion... sounding a little like it was recorded in a tiny box, devoid of breathing holes.
"Kiss The Ground" comes in grasping onto the tiny threads remaining from "Air In My Lungs", and holds it there, giving way to the quiet slow rock of "Owl". "Arguing Philosophies" runs the show with another powerful slap of heavy emotive rock (NOT using the term 'emo' here, or ever). The album finishes off with "Ecology", "In The Darkness", and "Someone Has To Bleed", all of which blend together into an airy, cold, misty environment.
What have we learned here? Over The Ocean is worth your time. In this day, many rock bands get lumped into some category or another. It would be easy to say that this band is an emo band, or an indie rock band, or a post rock band. It would be easy to say that this band also just plays music. To lump Over The Ocean into any kind of category would be a serious injustice to the band. When you hear music by people that actually mean it, you can tell. And this is one of those bands.