A Wondrous Rip-Off
Another broad sweeping generalization: if you take your band name from a Gandhi quote, you’re bound to sound about as pretentious and empty as that choice, and all the proof you’ll need is in the band Being as an Ocean. The California-based melodic hardcore band has released their sophomore full-length record How We Both Wondrously Perish, following a few lineup changes, and it’s a dark spot in an otherwise landmark year for melodic- and post-hardcore outfits. While the novelty of a band that sounds like mewithoutyou fronted by Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco may be intriguing, in its execution it is nothing worth writing home about.
Very little on this record seems unique or engaging at all, and their various tricks to stand out almost entirely fall flat. Sometimes a musical interlude ties a record together, but the title track feels completely out of place, and almost like it was mistakenly cut off, considering that it barely leads into the next track, “The Poets Cry for More.” Their mewithoutyou influence is most apparent — some might say reaching “rip-off” status, in the song “Even The Dead Have Their Tasks,” where screaming is mixed with pseudo-intellectual spoken word. Frankly, this occurs in most of the songs on the album, making for more of a tribute record that missed the mark than anything that could be considered original.
2014 has been the year of bands breaking free of the traditional hardcore and punk molds, taking melodic sounds and expanding the definitions of heavy music, but with all the bands that shot for the stars and reached them, there are always a few that fall short. If anything described in this review sounds interesting, you are bound to find something far better in any of the other post-hardcore releases in the past year, leaving Being as an Ocean’s How We Both Wondrously Perish to fade into the background quietly.