Ocean Grove — Flip Phone Fantasy — Album Review

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Grunge | Nu Metal | Alternative Metal | Pop Punk

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My introduction to Melbourne Nu-metal band Ocean Grove was a refreshingly different situation. After being able to attend a live show at the Chalk venue in Brighton, I got to see a band that I really enjoy, Crossfaith, once again. Supporting the Japanese electro-metal group were Black Futures (whose 2019 album I enjoyed quite a bit), and of course Ocean Grove.

Ocean Grove were the only band on the lineup that I hadn’t heard about beforehand. That being said, their live set would be completely new to me in terms of the music I heard. At the time, I wasn’t too sure what to expect from Ocean Grove, as it is always hard to foretell how a band will sound live if it is the first you heard of them. However, once they too the stage, me and my mate both agreed, that we liked what we heard, very much.

I recall that one of the first things that came into our heads, was that this band shared some kind of stylistic similarity with Limpbizkit. However, despite all the negative feelings pushed towards Limpbizkit (sometimes unjustly), Ocean Grove still commanded the audience with an incredibly upbeat and highly engaging set. Ironically, despite me attending the show for the other two bands, Ocean Grove’s set turned out to be an unexpected highligt of the evening.

During said set, they teased the album I am reviewing today; Flip phone Fantasy.

The day following the live show, I took to Spotify to fish for some teaser tracks for the album, and while I suspect that I may have missed one or two prior to the full album, the teasers I did listen to included “THOUSAND GOLDEN PEOPLE” and “NEO”. The former came across as an epic and festival ready anthem with some marvellous melodies and vocals, while the latter was a hard-hitting banger laced with a heavy dose of Turnstile’s aesthetic.

These kinds of influences on the tracks that make up Flip Phone Fantasy would become the real driving force behind why it is so enjoyable. In short, it really gets the best of my interest towards nostalgic value, as this album is jam-packed with it. In fact, the nostalgia level of this album is enough to put the likes of Mura Masa’s RYC to shame.

I do feel that the nostalgic value that this album brings was well pre-meditated, as the title suggests that this album is fully aimed towards the 90’s kids (or at least anyone who is old enough to have ever owned a flip phone).

The many influences that this album wields include the likes of Nirvana, LINKIN PARK, the afformentioned Turnstile, and even Green Day (especially in terms of the vocals). In other words, if you have any shred and sanity and, as a result, were disappointed by Green Days last couple of projects and still need that traditional Green Day feeling, then this could be the album for you.

The enjoyment I get out of this album does not all come down to the nostalgia factor, however; the overall atmosphere of this album is incredibly warm and uplifting, a perfect formula for those who need a bit of a boost during times of quarantine.

Of all of the tracks on Flip Phone Fantasy, there is only one that really bothers me, and that would be “SWAY”; an out-of-the blue interlude that adds little to nothing for the albums flow or enjoyment. Other than that, however, I hardly have anything else to pick at.

Despite how confusing and unnerving the month of March has been socially, there’s no denying that I think this month has musically been the best so far. Ocean Grove’s newest project is proof enough of that.

In times where many musicians may be struggling as much as the rest of us, I feel that it is important that this brilliant project is not overlooked, and that Ocean Grove receive the love and support they clearly deserve.

Favourite Tracks: SENSE AGAIN |SHIMMER | JUNKIE$

Least Favourite Track: SWAY

UNFD

9/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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