Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Album Review: I Am The Ocean - Escapist Fiction

So look, I know these guys are my friends so you may think my opinion is slightly biased, but you'll no longer pin such heinous accusations on me when you see my next sentence.

Taylor, Eric, Jeremy, Dreu, Kellen, and everybody else that has or had something to do with this band - this is not a personal attack. I love you guys. With that being said, I did not like I Am The Ocean's first effort, "And Your City Needs Swallowing." It was honestly kind of a snooze fest. Make no mistake about it - these guys are talented musicians who know how to write in-depth songs and play their instruments very well. However, the boredom that consumed me while listening to that album made me probably rate it a 4/10. However, all of the negative things I said above DO NOT apply to IATO's newest album, "Escapist Fiction." From the very first track, "Yours," I could already tell that this wasn't going to be the same sleep-inducing 54 minutes that their first album tended to be. Instead it was heavy, intense, well-written, vocally competent, and just plain good. That certainly did not stop with "Let Awe In," which completely epitomizes how this band has progressed into a force to be reckoned with. On the track "Grace," Dreu does some terrific things with his vocal melodies - at times leaving the band sounding a touch like ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Our Dead and The Juliana Theory - the latter of which continues through a good portion of the album. On the tracks "Stealing from Clifton" and "Icy," the instrument players sound about as cohesive as you can possibly sound - which is something this band has never had much of a problem with - while never compromising technicality or heaviness.

All in all, this is a terrific record which unfortunately probably won't be heard by as many people as it deserves to be. Good job, dudes - you deserve everything good that comes your way as a result of this effort.

Rating: 9/10
Recommended if you like: Glassjaw, The Juliana Theory, Thrice
Favorite Track: "Let Awe In"

DL - I would put up a download link, but they're my friends so you should support them by buying their record. So, I linked to the album's iTunes store page instead. Get over it.

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