Review: Ocean Grove - Flip Phone Fantasy
There have been few albums in recent years that I've looked forward to quite as much as Australian group Ocean Grove’s sophomore release, Flip Phone Fantasy. The band began with a pretty straight forward nu-metalcore sound on early releases before showing signs of shifting towards a more alternative rock and grungy sound, which is what really peaked y interest in this group. Along with a new 90's inspired aesthetic and fun music videos, Ocean Grove have repackaged themselves and built hype around their second full-length effort.
The album begins in fitting fashion with the track Superstar, filled with groovy and catchy melodies and a playful nature. I really enjoy the bounce and psychedelic vibes the track gives off. The following piece Neo has a high energy punk feel to it that showcases the bands range to perfectly capture and combine a wide variety of genres that inspired them to create their own signature sound. The bands love of mid to late 90's culture and musical styles becomes instantly apparent and despite this being a raging trend right now, Ocean Grove manages to put a pretty different spin on it with some unusual inspirations. This entire record immediately screamed summer anthem from the moment I put it on until the very second it finished, which gives it a charm that'll help it stand the test of time.
The record continues with Thousand Golden People and it feature's some very pleasant and catchy vocals from new singer Dale Tanner, who was already in the band on bass. Guys From the Gord feels like it was made specifically just for festivals in the best way possible. The track pulses with a strong electronica influence as well as an obvious ode to The Prodigy. Shimmer see's the band take on somewhat of a ballad with a lush soft grunge approach to pretty excellent results. Baby Cobra is a very are acoustic effort from Ocean Grove and while it's not exactly the reason I listen to this band, I think it was a very nice touch and created yet another wrinkle in the bands repertoire. The Aussies have established at this point that there's pretty much no style they can't sink their teeth into and spit out with a fun catchy track.
Ask For The Anthem might just be the most addicting song I've heard thus far in 2020. The bass groove is hypnotic and the slightly altered vocals are a wonderful touch. I don't see myself ceasing to listen to this track daily anytime soon in the foreseeable future. If it were the 90's or early 2000's this track would be all over the radio, I have no doubt of it. After a bit of a hip-hop instrumental another one of my favorite tracks of recent months soon follows with the absolute banger Junkie$. Accompanied by a fun music video that perfectly suits the track, it's a truly infectious jam that needs to be blasted at beaches across the world. The closing track follows in the form of Freaks, which is a bit more progressive than something we'd normally hear from this band and it's quite enjoyable to hear them take on something out of their ordinary. Fittingly the track features a great easy to remember, singable chorus, something I'd consider the number one strength of Flip Phone Fantasy.
It can be difficult to live up to such high expectations but Ocean Grove is one of the few bands I had a strong gut feeling about being able to produce and make good in their potential. I have to give a massive amount of credit to the band for stepping out of the norm of the rapidly growing and trendy genre of nu-metalcore and into something much more alternative and original. I love nearly everything about this record and it gets a 4 out of 5 stars from us.