How We Both Wondrously Perish review by Being As An Ocean

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  • Released: May 6, 2014
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.1 (16 votes)
Being As An Ocean: How We Both Wondrously Perish

Sound — 6
Being As An Ocean is an American melodic hardcore band from Alpine, California, formed in 2011. With the initial release of the album "Dear G-d..." in 2012, a number of fans in the melodic hardcore/post-hardcore community have been turning their heads toward this band. I happened to be one of the late comers, but I have heard of their name a lot on the Internet and punk/hardcore forums. But the question is, what do these guys really have to offer to their fans? Well, to start off, the good things about this album range from experimental vocal ability (uncleans, and spoken word) and drumming. At some points the guitar work really scream how much influence La Dispute has on them. But keep in mind, LD does the whole spoken word thing a lot too. With that in mind, I really want to say what BAAO is doing is original, but it just seems like they're trying too hard to be LD, and of course follow some trend having a "Christian" label to them. Last year, they acquired two new members. Connor Denis is on drums, and Michael McGough is on rhythm guitar, and clean vocals. As far as I'm concerned, Michael does a fairly solid effort on vocals, but there are times of where I'm cringing from how whiny and emo his range can be. But at least his effort is much better than what Joel did on "Dear G-d..."

Lyrics — 6
Even if I had not heard of La Dispute before listening to this album, it's hard to really take this album seriously at all times. LD's approach to making music is much more elegant, and poetic. Some lines on this album seem really, really cliche. "Mediocre Shakespeare," the first track on the album for example:

"I've fallen back into the 'how-could-this-have-happened-to-me's'
Like some melancholy play
That no one paid to see
I'm directing on anyway."

Yes, this is actually the chorus...

I'm not entirely sure what "L'Exquisite Douleur" translates to in English, but the line:
"My bed seems so much colder at night
This chill doesn't seem to be going away
So I'll acquire a taste for its bite"

just seems really cheesy. "We Drag The Dead On Leashes" is by far my favorite track, lyrically:
"We've all done things that we're ashamed of
We think they make us unworthy of love
We carry regret in our demeanors
Wear it all over our faces
In our smallest actions; our greatest fears
Daring all who would come near to break the tension
To incidentally mention the demons you've been battling
Regret and shame leaking through every expression
Unable to forgive ourselves for things we could have stopped from happening."

Overall Impression — 6
Let me just say that I could not listen to "Dear G-d..." at all. I was only really able to listen to this new album, basically because of how much La Dispute is written all over it. The drumming is great, and fills the songs nicely. Shad actually recorded with them before they left. I really do enjoy some of the spoken word and unclean vocals at times, but some of the lyrics on this album are just so cliche. Not to mention the new clean vocalist just really, really bores down some of these songs at times with his range. The guitar parts don't do much justice, although, I really enjoyed the breakdown at the end of the song "Even the Dead Have Their Tasks." The vocals in a way, along with the breakdown reminded me of something letlive. would do. So all in all, if you want to listen to a fair melodic hardcore/post-hardcore album, this is okay album to listen to as a starter, but I'd suggest checking out bands like La Dispute or letlive. first before listening to these guys if you already haven't.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Surprisingly good band with some catchy guitar parts. And nice review by the way)
    Good review, but I can't see a reason for the La Dispute comparison. This album's instrumentation/vocal dynamics sound a lot more like Alexisonfire/Underoath than LD, especially in comparison to the previous one. Also, in my opinion Dear G-d's guitar work sounds more like Pianos Become the Teeth (mixed with modern metalcore stuff), both have that post-rock vibe, which kinda makes Dear G-d my favorite album, the guitar melodies are a lot more remarkable. Not to mention that LD are in no way the first to do the spoken-word post-hardcore thing (not bashing, they're one of my favorite bands and I love the way they do it), look up the older mewithoutYou material for example, it has influenced LD a lot, and probably influenced BAAO too. This album is good overall, but sometimes the songs lose their way (like "Even the Dead Have Their Tasks", the spoken-word part just sounds out of place and Joel sounds like he's in a rush to finish this part before entering the heavy section), sounding less concise than their previous work but being saved by the catchy choruses and the more ambient songs (I loved Mothers and the calm section of L'Exquisite Douleur for example). Maybe it has something to do with the new singer who influenced a lot this change of direction in their sound. Again, good review, but maybe you should've given more time with this band's work to review it properly.
    I disagree with this review that album is way better than how much your throwing it down. It doesn't remind me of LD at all. For all you reading this, go listen to the album. It's actually really good. There's a variety so you'll be bound to find atleast 1 song you like.