Artist: Ocean Grove
Area: Melbourne, AU
Date of release: 28/10/19
Genre: Nu Metal / Odd World Music
Record Label: UNFD
For Fans Of: Dregg, Darknet,
"Listen up because attention flees
The last track was a test indeed
So, loud mouthing, bitter, lost faith in us
Give ‘em one song now they never want to play with us"
Following the release of the latest indicators of the direction of Ocean Grove’s ever developing sound, 'JUNKIE$' has given us another taste of what to expect from the Melbourne crew’s music as they venture further away from that "Black Label" sound that really put them on the map. In saying that, this is oddworld-core all over, and longtime OG fans shouldn’t get lost in their gradually approachable sound as they aim to take themselves to the next level.
This new track is expectedly formatted with a groovy riff, plenty of ambient noises filling the background, little vocal ad-libs and a simple hook of a chorus that would feel right at home on a "Rhapsody Tapes” B-Side release, similar to 'Glass Gloss' and 'Ask For The Anthem'. Personally, this has yet to hit me like 'AFTA' did, as it shot up the ranks as my favourite OG tune in no time at all, but I can certainly 'JUNKIE$' ;this growing on me more as time goes on.
On the flipside, the pre-chorus and transition into main hook almost felt too similar to 'Glass Gloss;. This could come down to me trying to be too picky and finding things to be critical about, but I forgot I was listening to a new track for half a moment and almost led myself to vocalise ‘And I know my way out...’ before realising this is a very different chorus (in a good way).
Overall, I was a bit disappointed at the lack of highlights or ‘wow’ factor in 'JUNKIE$', as no section, melody or instrumental moments stood out to me at all. Everything feels and sounds Ocean Grove, the artwork and righteous music video sure looks like Ocean Grove, but nothing (yet) has me itching to listen to this song for a few more spins; the murmuring vocal motif a la 'Thunderdome' or general energy brought to the forefront in tracks like 'Intimate Alien' or 'B.L.U.D.' In saying that, it is still enjoyable from start to finish, even if rather pedestrian and ‘stock standard’ for lack of a better term.
Progression is a natural occurrence for bands and their musical journeys, based on what Ocean Grove has offered so far following Luke Holmes' departure, Dale Tanner’s move to full time vocals and the addition of Twiggy Hunter to bass, their next album release (whenever it may be) should certainly be something to look forward to. I can see people not being a fan of the simplistic nature of this song, but, at the same time, it’s going to help expand their fan base and develop their careers further. In conjunction with the other tracks we’ve seen this year, 'JUNKIE$' should go down as a standout addition to OG’s growing legacy in Australian music.
Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST) 4/5
Personal Enjoyment: 7/10