Gig Reviews

Ocean Alley – Bald Faced Stag, Sydney 06/09/15

Ocean Alley have been getting some substantial notice with the release of their sophomore EP titled In Purple. The group hearken from the Northern Beaches, and have clearly been touched by the ocean’s bipolarity. Just like the beach, Ocean Alley can be lazy, lapping shores or violent vortices of waves and water.

Before I get talking about the boy’s performance, let us have a little chatette about their sound. It is this kind of Hendrix-coloured fusion of psychedelia and reggae. At one point the band will sink into some sick down-tempo riffage as Baden’s raspy croon flicks up an ethereal sound-storm. And then suddenly, the set will rise up into this beautifully accented crescendo of keys, guitar, bass and drums.

The band’s commitment to the fidelity of the instrument is noteworthy. Every aspect of their kaleidoscopic reggae-rock soundscape is touched with rasp, coarseness and texture. Rather than the artificial fluorescence of the pixel and sample, we get DIY music-magic weaved by the salt-dusted hands of instrumentalists. So listening to In Purple is an exciting affair.

Listening to it live is even better. When I shuffled into The Bald Faced Stag and leaned against a bare but comfortable wall, I thought that I would just repose-and-review for the duration of the gig. But as soon as the boys started deftly dragging their hands over their instruments, I began bumping Marley-style with imaginary beanie and blunt.

Ocean Alley’s live performance is contagiously energetic. They move in tandem and groove in this giddy union that enchants the audience. The shift from harsh, grating crescendo-core to the gossamer whistles and whines of their softer songs had the audience in an epileptic craze and then in a hazy narcosis. Whilst the boys are undoubtedly still in the process of perfecting their live repertoire, it is clear that they are savant performers.

So get excited, because Ocean Alley are continuing their EP tour up the East Coast with shows at The Brightside (Brisbane), The Evelyn (Melbourne) and OAF (Sydney), just to name a few. Don’t forget to grab some Lost Paradise Festival tickets, as Ocean Alley will be playing alongside such sonic-gods as Jamie XX and Four Tet.

Listen: Ocean Alley – Twisted

Ocean Alley Tour Dates

Fri September 11

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Nsw

Tickets: BigTix

Thu September 17

The Brightside, Brisbane Qld

Tickets: Oztix

Sat September 19

Great Northern, Byron Bay Nsw

Tickets: Free Entry

Sun September 20

Sounds Of Sunday, Gold Coast Qld

Tickets: Free Entry

Fri September 25

Uni Bar, Wollongong Nsw

Tickets: Moshtix

Fri October 2

The Evelyn, Melbourne Vic

Tickets: Oztix

Thu October 15

Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney Nsw

Tickets: Moshtix

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