Album Review: Ocean Grove - Flip Phone Fantasy
Artist: Ocean Grove
Album: Flip Phone Fantasy
Genre: Alternative Metal
Review by Tay Lack
There isn’t a single doubt in my mind that you wouldn’t know who this band is. Recently showcasing and teasing new singles for the bushfire benefit concert alongside The Amity Affliction and Tonight Alive, and Melbourne heavy music outfit Ocean Grove has taken the scene by storm with the announcement of their full twelve-track studio album being released on the 13th of March. I had the opportunity to review this highly anticipated album, to share my honest and raw thoughts on the record.
Before I get into the review I want to state – I like Ocean Grove, this is a great album for Ocean Grove mega fans, you will enjoy this. Just because I didn’t particularly enjoy the album, does not mean you won’t. So read this with an open mind – it’s all subject to opinion.
Straight off the bat, it was absolutely fantastic to see a full track list of twelve songs – It definitely fits the category for a full-length album, and I can entirely appreciate the effort that was put into this record. The album artwork in itself definitely stands for and represents the sound being portrayed. Now illgo into greater detail with this being said, but overall I feel the outfit has already hit the quota by releasing “Junkie$”, “Sunny” and “Neo” - These songs are standouts and are really the absolute high points of the album, there’s not much more than can excite after that (if you’re expecting some massively elaborate releases).
There are a select few songs that I did thoroughly enjoy. To lighten the vibe a bit, I will go through and share these fantastic tracks, as I would recommend spinning them as soon as the albums released. Starting with “Neo”, now that’s a fantastic song. Respectively its already been released but I didn’t have the full opportunity to review it until I was assigned the album. It has a fast, upbeat vibe that really kinda’ gets you in the mood to be productive; I like that (almost if adrenaline had a sound).
Next up is “Thousand Golden People.” If you play the intro to this song and close your eyes, you’ll be convinced you’re listening to something by Linkin Park (probably just the nu-metal fan in me picking out tiny details, but oh well). Again, this stood out because it sounds different from the blend of similar songs on the record! It’s almost like all the other tracks are lost in the shadows of these stand out tracks purely because they sound so similar.
With this in conjunction with “Ask For The Anthem.” This was an enjoyable track and I was gravitated towards it. Itsextremely catchy with the vibe of mainstream radio music, but to be completely kosher, I feel as if that’s the secret vibe that is being led off in the first instance, this was meant to sound like radio music (which is fine).
Now, I like these songs and I’m saying this because I’m predicting great success and potential from these tracks to be standouts upon the release, but personally – I wouldn’t be saving them to my playlists.
“Superstar” and “Sunny” didn’t stand out for me, by all means as individuals they are fantastic songs - but they got lost in my thoughts, they’re too similar. With that being said also, “Baby Cobra” is different, but it isn’t my cup of tea - I felt almost uncomfortable listening to it, it has a strange vibe which I feel some would absolutely love but PERSONALLY just isn’t my favourite. Again, definitely listen to the album in its entirety to form your own opinions.
I want to explain my backing behind my opinion, I think this album was created and crafted fantastically, and if you’re a die-hard Ocean Grove fan you’ll probably froth this - but from an outsider’s standpoint I didn’t find it to be entirely captivating. I just feel as if it’s a little lack-lustre for originality, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a well-produced album.
The tracks are enjoyable, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see these songs played live. Do I think this is the best album drop of 2020? Not entirely, do I feel fans of Ocean Grove will love this? Absolutely! This is just what I can depict from an outsider standpoint.
In summary, the album is crafted beautifully, the mixing quality is outstanding and is truly the product of hard work from the band, I just would have loved to hear just a little more individuality, I can’t help but think I’ve heard all these songs before. I think the idea behind it is great and it’s definitely well made - it’s just not for me (personally).
Flip Phone Fantasy is set to drop via UNFD on the 13th of March on all streaming platforms.