Before attempting to consume ‘The Rhapsody Tapes’ by Melbourne based collective Ocean Grove you should take some time to read The Rhapsody Manifesto. Go on, click this link. You will find a section of text written by the band. Now, absorb it. Get a feel for its eloquence and passion. See it as more than just words on a screen. See it as part of a new movement. Forget everything you thought before and open your mind to new feelings and ideas. Let the concept of Odd World fill your mind and ensnare your senses. Only then will you be ready to truly appreciate and revel in the baffling brilliance of this juggernaut Ocean Grove have created.
Seriously, leave everything you know about heavy music behind. It will be no use here, because Ocean Grove have taken every influence and style that has defined and inspired metal and hardcore over the past few years and ripped it to shreds. With so many cookie-cutter bands sticking to their comfort zones and running riot recently, this is the swift and necessary kick up the arse that the scene has been craving.
On one hand, there is the pit bothering ‘Beer’ which seethes with nu-metal heaviness and melody while also sounding thoroughly modern, while the street-hardened ‘Intimate Alien’spits bile-speckled bars over its almost sensual groove.
On the other there is the absolute filth encrusted on the surface of ‘From Dalight’ that rumbles with old school drum and bass and the strained darkness of ‘Thunderdome’ and ‘Mr Centipede’ that feel like cold fingers running up and down your spine. It’s all so familiar yet so fresh. It’s strangely comfortable but also downright disturbing. It’s challenging yet thoroughly engrossing. It’s unlike anything else any band is doing right now and should therefore be celebrated.
Contorting and slithering in any direction that it pleases, Ocean Grove have really pulled it out the bag with this one. Go forth and get lost.
‘The Rhapsody Tapes’ by Ocean Grove is out now on UNFD.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)