If the sound of their new album, Split, is anything to go by, the members of The Ocean Party were the kind of lads who had sand kicked in their faces by bullies at the beach. Split is a long cry from the jock dominated sounds of your typical Aussie rock band.
Over the band’s first couple of albums, Lachlan Denton was encumbered with the frontman duties, but Split has seen a change in strategy from the five-piece who now reside in Melbourne. As all members of The Ocean Party are songwriters, they have taken the move of each individual being responsible for singing each of the songs that they pen on Split.
The Ocean Party sing about Australia’s national dish in Chinese Takeaway and their experiences in the big city after having moved from Wagga Wagga. Newest member and drummer Zac Denton sings the title track that forms one of the high points with the clean guitars and back handed nature of Every Decision.
The Ocean Party manage to add a dose of Flying Nun, The Go Betweens and Teenage Fanclub to their brand of cerebral Australian tunes and yet remain quintessentially Melbourne sounding. Split is without a doubt one of 2013’s high marks for melodic pop.
Rating: 5 stars
_ CHRIS HAVERCROFT