Have a listen to: "Eston Square"
Across All Oceans – Homegrown
Release Date: 22nd February 2016
‘Emo’ has become such a dirty word over the last 10 years and I feel like we’ve all forgotten where it truly began. It wasn’t always lip rings, fringes and an MCR journal full of poetry about self harm.*
*Disclaimer: as a self confessed former emo I can categorically deny the self harm and poetry thing, that wasn’t what emo was, guys, jeez!
There was a time when emo was just a style of music; gritty, edgy and angsty, nestled right between the merging genres of pop punk, indie and post hardcore. The term emo has long since lost its original meaning but every so often a band appears and drags you back into the depths of your mid noughties emo paradise and ‘Homegrown‘ by Across All Oceans is exactly that, my friends.
This is the second release from the Middlesborough based quintet that’s been a year in the making with teasers and trailers cramming the bands social profiles prior to the self release of ‘Homegrown‘ on 22nd February this year.
Each of the 5 tracks is a subtle callback to the EPs name; ‘Homegrown‘. With the record feeling punky and alternative it’s almost as if it could have been recorded fresh from a jam session in someone’s garage. Yet the production quality reminds you that this is a band who’ve worked hard to produce a polished and energetic end product to share proudly with an intimate yet eager fanbase.
Opening the EP is ‘Everywhere But Home‘; a slow yet aggressive song that makes me nostalgic for something I can’t quite put my finger on. We quickly slip into ‘Permeance‘ in which we find a comfortable grounding of pop punk; typically thrusting guitars teamed with volatile drums and rhythmically mismatched vocals. Midpoint is ‘Monophobia‘, treating us to angsty lyrics and throat vocals bound to send shockwaves of bittersweet emotion right through the core of our black emo souls.
Dragging us out of the dark abyss of angst is title track ‘Homegrown‘; a lo fi, bona fide, archetypal emo showpiece. You could lose yourself in this track if you were in the right mood to drown in a melodramatic pool of quarter life crises. Last but not least is ‘Eston Square‘, my personal favourite, a melodic track full of heart, soul and feeling with a hint of atmospheric ambience and a touch of post hardcore vocalising, that brings the EP to an abrupt close.
If I’m being blunt, the EP does leave a little to be desired; it is well produced for what it is but there’s plenty of potential if and when a label gets on board. With the quality of the songwriting and the dedication of the band combined, it’s surely only a matter of time before Across All Oceans are being fought over left, right and centre. A valiant effort considering it’s been self released.
My main complaint? That it isn’t longer!
Good work, boys.
For Fans Of: Boston Manor, Trash Boat, A Day To Remember