Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Ocean Party - B-Grade Material

Almost every band will tell you that their latest album is top quality stuff, and their best work ever.  Almost every band.  And then there is Melbourne's The Ocean Party, who tells us that the material on their latest offering consists of leftovers from the recording sessions from the previous album, as well as the album yet to be released, and that it varies in style and recording quality.  And in case those comments failed to register, they titled the album B-Grade Material.  So there is the unvarnished truth, right?  Well, not really.

Since "alternative facts" are all the rage in a certain part of the world, we'll give you some alternative facts which, in our professional view, actually are true.  One fact is that The Ocean Party is a really, really good band, and their "B-grade" material is better than many band's A-grade material.  Second, in an fit of professional responsibility, we have listened to this album several times, and think it is a delight.  Indulge us and devote 11 minutes to run through the first four tracks below, and I expect you will agree.  I'm especially fond of "Love", with the talented Ashley Bundang (Ciggie Witch, Totally Mild, Zone Out) guesting, and "Goldman Sachs".  Third, the variety of styles reflects one of the band's strong points -- with multiple talented songwriters and singers, the musical scenery always stays interesting over the course of an album.  Finally, consider the potential psychology at play here, The Ocean Party calls the album B-Grade Material, but they thought it good enough to see the light of day, and it is their reputation on the line.  My guess is they think there is some good stuff here, and we agree.

B-Grade Material is available digitally and on a limited number of cassettes via the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp for B-Grade Material

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