Oceans Ate Alaska play a very excitable, highly eclectic brand of Metalcore. They are kind of the MC equivalent of Rings of Saturn and much like RoS will inspire either slavish devotion or a simmering and perplexed enmity.
They seem to suffer from an excess of inspiration. Frustratingly their current style of writing is based on having 8 or 9 average ideas in a song rather than waiting for 2 really good ones to come to the fore.
This is as enervating a band as I have ever come across; as they are capable of the most amazing and appalling feats, often within seconds of each other. They write face-melting grooves only to stop them dead in their tracks just as one starts to appreciate them.
O.A.A are very technically proficient but haven't yet developed the patience to modulate their skills into forms that can be truly enjoyed by a wider public. Don't get me wrong I love frenetic, fractal-based, hyper-driven metal; Archspire, Vale of Pnath, Alterbeast; all that frantic jazz, but what OAA fail to do is provide essential melodic continuity through each song. Even on my 3rd play-through I found myself checking numerous times to see if new songs had started, as it felt like concluding cadences had been reached. Only to discover that there was 2 minutes left in the song.
The vocals are an vigorous mixture of almost every style, including but not limited to; guttural, rasped, roared, screamed and crooned; all of which are proficiently applied without adding essential excitement or emotion to the mix. It seems to be that in their desire to please everyone, Oceans Ate Alaska, might end up pleasing no one.
At times they feel like the sonic equivalent of the Bad-Boy on the motorcycle. Girls like him because he's talented and edgy and when they are with him they feel disobedient and outside of society's norms. But all the time they are thinking “I can change him.”.
They have already gained significant popularity with the accruing of over 250-000 FB likes. Not that this is a sure-fire indicator of imminent success, but it suggests that there is a market out there for music of schizophrenic focus and restricted attention span.
I'd say that to turn this on-line achievement into certifiable sales and actual currency OAA need to develop patience, learn to edit and decide, which of the 3 bands on display here they actually want to be.
– John Whitmore