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The Light In The Ocean - The Pseudo-Scientific Study of Oceanic Neo-Cryptid Zoology CD (album) cover


The Light In The Ocean

Eclectic Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Oh man-oh man have you prog lovers have got to hear this! Brilliant music with drop dead gorgeous yet heavily experimentally treated sounds doing a kind of tongue-in-cheek atmospheric sci-fi soundtrack.

1. "33-55-77" (3:49) opens with an awesome sound palette before kicking into structured heavy-rock voice-support. I'm reminded of both THE MERCURY TREE and MAUDLIN OF THE WELL. Another shift at 2:31 into MoTW with delicate microtonals. Dynamic, pitch-shifting electric guitar solo ensues over the top till end. Awesome start! (9.5/10)

2. "Beat Thief" (6:42) another great opening! Man these guys can play! Then sci-fi/spy dialogue between female and male agents over the top of some nicely woven support music. In the third minute the weave explores more of the treated piano capacities before everything slows down and "gets pretty." Interesting and very engaging spacious chord play between guitars, piano, bass, and drums ensues as the weave slowly rebuilds and picks up speed and momentum. I love this music! I'm sold! (9.5/10)

3. "Coffee Stains" (3:31) drums (hi-hat cymbal play) and deeply thrumming bass chords open this before guitars and voice join in. Not the greatest voice (or mix of the vocal track), but great atmospheric music. The bass replicating the main melody is killer! (9/10)

4. "HM&MLPHBWA" (3:01) almost too pretty of an opening for heavy or eclectic prog, the doubled up vocals are interesting. There's a cool UNAKA PRONG feel and sound here. Doubled up aggressive microtonal guitars (two tracks delivered to the two sides of my headphones) are cool. Then back the dreamy stuff for the end. (8.75/10)

5. "Biehn's Theme" (3:03) starts out rather standard modern metal fare but then adds a few interesting sounds and twists. (8.5/10)

6. "Memories Intact" (4:10) nice atmospheric sound palette for a fast-paced song. Then cover it with melodic, almost-poppy vocals and you have some nice ear candy. Bands like FROST*, INDUKTI, and KINO come to mind. (9/10)

7. "Sentimental Astronaut" (3:56) more great guitar chords/arpeggi with synth washes and deep-thrum bass notes and chords opens this one. Sounds a lot like PLINI, PAUL SPEER or MAUDLIN OF THE WELL. A very cool, engaging theme that is, in my opinion, only partially developed. (8.75/10)

8. "Hamilton Big Boys" (10:40) opens with a piano, violin and choral voice fabric while interesting DAIMON WAITKUS- like vocal sings over the top. At 2:10 things slow down and jazz-up a bit in a long bridge to a more electronic recapitulation of the main themes. Electric guitar and violin now compete for the melody carrier with the piano. At 4:33 there is a major shift into more PREFAB SPROUT territory--until the power chords and screaming metal vocals enter, that is. Cool instrumental passage in the sixth minute in support of the soloing violin, but then things amp back up again at the seven-minute mark for the strong PINK FAIRIES-like chorus. At 8:10 we come down again to a variation on the opening theme with arpeggios coming from picked guitar instead of piano while lead electric guitar wails away in the background. This last for the rest of the song as the music slowly fades over the final minute. Great song! (18.75/20)

Total Time 38:52

A very impressive album that captures some totally fresh sounds and variations on older styles. Definitely one to check out for yourselves--and a band (duo) that I'm going to keep an eye on! Kudos, Jared and Jacob! You've got a winning approach! I hope you can keep it going!

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of eclectic and innovative progressive rock music.

Report this review (#2452249)
Posted Monday, September 28, 2020 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Thoughtful appealing melodies and gentle sound. This is the sophomore album from a band coming out of the US/Minneapolis region. Their debut back in 2019 still was recorded by a four-piece line up. But on this occasion the term band must be relativated, as the core is reduced to multi-instrumentalists Jared Emery and Jacob Ewert. Nearly everthing is written, performed, and recorded by them both. By the way, before discovering THE LIGHT IN THE OCEAN they already have recorded music together under the moniker TOM'S HANK. With more focus on the instrumental execution on this occasion the sound is already offered with a distinctive design, it's definitely worth a try too. Now returning back to 2020, what I'm really fond of the provided variety in style and mood. A step forward, quite a sensation.

Where you certainly can recognize that they are from the States, occasionally I also hear some similarities to Umphrey's McGee. Exemplarily to notice during the extended closing track Hamilton Big Boys which also showcases some violin support by Stephen Decker. The album title, okay, some humour or pun intended? I suspect yet they are bashing a somewhat pseudo-intellectual pretension, elevatedness, we actually are faced with here and there. Concerning the production everything is balanced. Singing voices and technical skills are top notch. The charming relaxed Beat Thief is starting with a looping behaviour, plus external narrative voice support contributed by Michelle Zeto and Rusty Detty.

And then I'm especially stoked about the short super hit Coffee Stains, catchy melody, melancholic guitars, punching bass, simply perfect! Increasing enthusiasm with every new listening session. You can count on me as a new fan. Very inspired compositions, nifty regarding mood and execution, close to a masterpiece. Concerning both masterminds a lot of talent is available here. THE LIGHT IN THE OCEAN have released one new single track in 2021 so far. Hopefully there is coming more soon, and they will be able to keep the level high in that way.

Report this review (#2595904)
Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2021 | Review Permalink

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