Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Album Review: Homegrown by Across All Oceans

Across All Oceans are a five-piece emo/pop punk band from Middlesbrough in the North of England. After forming in 2012 and releasing their debut EP Looking Back in 2014, Across All Oceans release a second EP named Homegrown on the 22nd of February. I was lucky enough to get an early copy.

The first song on Homegrown is Everywhere But Home. Whenever I think about UK emo music the first band I think of is Moose Blood so when I clicked play that was the sound I was expecting. As ever with when I assume something, I was wrong. Lead singer Andrew Thomson has a much more aggressive vocal style that I really love. The song goes along at a good pace and is a fantastic start to the EP. The second song, Permanence, shows more of the pop punk side of Across All Oceans. On my iPod I have a playlist with all the music I have to review and the other day this song popped on whilst I had it on shuffle. My first thought was ‘why are The Flatliners on this playlist’. This is by no means a slight on the band, The Flatliners are one of my most favourite bands and Chris Cresswell has one of the most recognisable voices in punk rock. Up next is latest single Monophobia. This song is a great punk track with some great hooks and sing-a-long moments. Starting slowly with just vocals and guitars, the band picks the tempo up slightly and brilliantly combines emo and heartfelt punk rock to create a fantastic sound that can't be ignored. Title track Homegrown goes back to a more typical emo sound with Thomson's vocal becoming a bit less harsh, perhaps making the song more accessible. The song is about questioning your place in life and if you are at the stage that you're supposed to be. I can see this song being extremely popular with the younger people with its cleaner sound. Homegrown finishes with a song named Eston Square. Eston Square starts out slowly with some really restrained, quiet vocals. Soon enough this changes and the song becomes a huge, up-tempo, sing-a-long emotional punk rock anthem. At the start of the song I wasn't so sure that I would like it but by the end I was ready to proclaim it as the song of the year (very early days I know).

Across All Oceans are a fantastic band. This genre of punk rock is getting more and more popular and I wouldn't be surprised if AAO (as I'm sure they'll become known soon enough) could have a breakout year on the strength of this EP. It's very, very good.

Pre-order Homegrown here:

Like Across All Oceans here: