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Album Review: Ocean Sleeper – Don't Leave Me This Way

4 November 2019 | 12:02 pm | Emily Blackburn

"[T]here's no question that Ocean Sleeper do melodic hardcore well."

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The Australian hardcore scene is a highly saturated one and unfortunately, Gippsland’s Ocean Sleeper risk fading into the crowd with their debut release Don’t Leave Me This Way.

Kicking off with Sleep Life Away, its haunting guitar riff and thumping basslines are energetic and fun. When the gravelly tone of heavy vocalist Karl Spiessl lights a fire during Killing Me, there's no question that Ocean Sleeper do melodic hardcore well. Catchy hooks and gritty breakdowns take you from moshing to dancing and back again in an Amity-like formula. 

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind’s crowd-chanting energy contrasts starkly against the sweet poppy vocals of singer/guitarist Ionei Heckenberg, whose vocal styling could easily be mistaken for Ahren Stringer in disguise, it’s that similar. Running Through My Head begins by sampling crowd cheers faintly underneath its intro guitar line, and as each verse builds into a harsh chorus, it’s another catchy track. Final track Better Days concludes with a haunting mix of strings and a light piano melody that provides an emotive ending to what is a tight and enjoyable album, yet disappointingly unoriginal.