Wednesday, November 20

Album Review: 'Bright People' by Oceanics


Bright People
Oceanics
MGM
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Think of vocals similar to Luke Pritchard’s of the Kooks paired with Beach Boys-esque harmonies, layered over jangly guitar riffs akin to Vampire Weekend. Throw in a dash of Two Door Cinema Club and you have the band Oceanics.

Hailing from Queensland, the Aussie quartet released its second EP “Bright People” today on MGM. With bouncy introductions and tight beats, “Bright People” offers a sample of harmonious Britpop-rock just in time for summer.

The five-song EP begins with “Jukebox,” a fun track that discusses the less fun topic of unrequited love. “Lately, love has seemed to hate me/ It’s over now,” lead vocalist Elliot Weston sings. Putting unfortunate situations to lively music is a trait found in nearly all of the tracks on “Bright People,” and “Jukebox” starts out strong with a solid bass line layered underneath a repetitive yet electrifying hook.

“Chinatown (Is Not Newtown)” follows “Jukebox,” and with its boundless energy, it is easy to see why the band chose it to be the first single off the record. The song opens with a playful guitar solo that maintains its bouncy quality throughout the whole song. “I heard you say/ It’s all the same/ Now you and I are lonely,” Weston croons, with lyrics that contrast with the song’s otherwise happy qualities.

The next two tracks mellow the mood after the pair of up-tempo tracks that open the EP. “American Honey” and “Indigo Lane” sound as if they should be played at the beach while the sun sets, staying true to that summery vibe present on the whole EP. “American Honey” slows the album’s pace and puts more emphasis on the rhythmic guitar riffs, while Weston boasts an impressive range during the chorus. The song is another debate over a lover, asking, “Should I leave ya, should I leave us?/ Nothing turns to something else soon, my love.”

Similarly, “Indigo Lane” tells the story of a couple who cannot break away from their dysfunctional relationship. “Just pull us apart and put us back together,” Weston sings. The song combines two distinct tempos, making it jump from the calmest song on the EP to one of the most upbeat ones within a 30-second stretch.

Oceanics closes out its EP with a Beach Boys cover “Girl Don’t Tell Me.” Sounding especially similar to Foster the People, Oceanics offers a great tribute to Brian Wilson’s 1965 hit. Oceanics successfully captures the retro feel necessary to make a song like this sound great. While it does not surpass the original, “Girl Don’t Tell Me” is the perfect, melodious close to an EP filled with summery tunes about tricky love.

“Bright People” is well suited for a day at the beach or drive up the coast with its excellent lyrics and mellow instrumentals. What Oceanics needs now is something distinguishable ““ a song with a great hook to reel its listeners in, as individual tracks lack that “catchy” quality that makes it easy to discern one indie ballad from the rest. While “Bright People” is enjoyable, it needs an extra push before it can be deemed memorable.

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