Let’s get this out the way straight out and move on shall we? Nu-Metal is coming back and I would say it’s going to be back in a big bad way. Australia’s Ocean Grove are the latest in a long line of bands that are paying homage to the genre, with the release of their debut album The Rhapsody Tapes.
This album plays like a love letter to a lot of different era’s of rap rock/skate punk and then nu-metal. It is almost entirely unique as well, with no two songs sounding the same. You have a track like ‘Beers’ which has a real skater punk edge to it and a quickness and immediacy that makes you stand up and take notice right away. The album’s lead single ‘Intimate Alien’ has more of the traditional nu-metal sound to it and with any luck will go on to be a huge summer anthem for them.
When you dig a little deeper into the album you can really see where the inspiration from other sources creeps in and how the band has crafted something completely different with each song. ‘Thunderdome’ is a slow drowsy sounding number that floats along on a sea of ambience and gives you a moment to catch your breath after the fast-paced opening, then you have ‘The Wrong Way’ which comes in sounding like a post-hardcore Pearl Jam, the somewhat silly sounding ‘Slow Soap Soak’ sounds like an interlude you would find on Limp Bizkit’s ‘Significant Other’ album and is s daft as it sounds.
The real WTF moment comes towards the end of the album when you hit the track ‘From Dalight’ which swings in sounding like Die Antwoord in all their batshit mental glory and is exactly how it sounds. Proving that they will not allow themselves to be pigeonholed by sticking with one type of thing. It has to be said though that they real MVP of this album is vocalist Luke Homes who brings something distinct and different to every single track and works through and an incredible range of vocal styles that perfectly complement and elevate every track on the album.
‘The Rhapsody Tapes’ is an assured and confident debut from a band that could not only herald a full-blown nu-metal revival but could also have a very big and bright future ahead of them. I would strongly recommend seeking this album out and giving it a spin, because I can tell you now you will be hearing a lot more from Ocean Grove in 2017