Album Review: Ocean Grove - Flip Phone Fantasy
Flip Phone Fantasy
Since their 2017 debut album The Rhapsody Tapes, Melbourne, Australia’s Ocean Grove has been on a hell of a ride. They quickly rose to the top of their homeland’s heavy music scene, toured globally with Limp Bizkit, August Burns Red, etc., and made mainstage appearances at both Splendour In The Grass and the Download Festival. So, what does their sophomore album Flip Phone Fantasy hold for us? The 5 songs (out of the 12) they shared ahead of release gave us a solid indication of that answer. Whereas “Sunny” offered a song that pulled traces of a grunge influence into an otherwise 90s alternative based sound, “Junkie$” and “Thousand Golden People” fueled in a mix of nu metal, “Neo” showcased their hardcore influenced chops, and “Ask For The Anthem” brought us straight into a club full of flashing lights and glowing drinks with it’s rave-like qualities. So, in a word: Variety! “Superstar” is the perfect way to open the album as it pulls together everything we heard from the previously released singles into one tune and sets the pace for what this album holds overall with great guitars, nu metal touches, and dips of that club influence. However, there are a few pieces that come completely out of left field and add new, unexpected dynamics. The clap-a-long beat of the verses on “Sense Again” smash into a chorus that lifts the song to a sway-a-long height, while “Shimmer” leans on a 1980’s Top 40 vibe that makes it feel like a lost cut from Tears For Fears or the like. There are certainly signatures that you’ll be able to unpeel as you listen to this album that help define who Ocean Grove is; nu metal tendencies, 1990’s alternative rock influences, pieces of grunge, and touches of rave beats and grooves. However, the album is mostly chaotic in the sense that while you’ll discover these signature qualities, you’ll never quite get this album completely figured out; but that’s also the same unique charm that makes this work!