Ocean Is Theory – Into the Mouths of Lions
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: May 2, 2008
I made it a point to investigate the lyrics of Into the Mouths of Lions. When music is this dark and energetic, I always hope beyond hope for words that match the musicality. I heard words like “Pharisee” or “broken ones” or “grace,” and wondered if I was headed for a goth-friendly bible study. I may seem like an insensitive idiot, but I can actually comprehend this stuff (as my 6th grade Confirmation Disciple Rock can attest). So ha, I know what a Pharisee is: it’s an old judge or something. Or maybe that’s a Hammurabi? Whatever. Point is, Ocean Is Theory doesn’t glaze over any aspect of its sound. This “sound” may totally ape other bands (newer As Cities Burn, a Christian-er The Receiving End of Sirens, less nasally Saosin, etc.), but their professional mentality means this album sounds more like a member than an apprentice. Originality, in this case and this case only, is a smidge overrated.
While not technically post-hardcore, Into the Mouths of Lions exudes that type of force. Elevating and winding riffs are the backbone to each song. The choruses are large, manifesting fist-pumping sensations brought on by bands like Thrice or lesser-known Trains Followed Us. Take “Oh Broken Son” for example; it’s menacing onset, with lyrics like “Is this all we’re searching for / Are we lost?,” opens into a gang chorus featuring a triple-word score repetition of “I’m a ship that’s lost its coordinates!” Entrancing stuff, trust me. This is alt-rock you won’t be ashamed of, although they may have to fire your favorite jean-jacketed radio DJ.
I hesitate, however, to allow Ocean Is Theory to wow me completely. Something about them makes all this depth and drama seem amazingly forced. Nobody likes a know-it-all, especially if they’re quoting Proverbs all over the place. Jokes aside, rampant spirituality can pigeonhole a young band. If OIT are only looking to hook youth group leaders or the like, they’ve done their jobs impeccably well - “Plant Your Fields” would earn instant cred for any adult leader with its shredding and dance-like accessibility. I must look at albums from such a broad standpoint that I can see where mainstream problems with this formula will arise. Into the Mouths of Lions isn’t a mind-blowing EP, but there are promising signs all around.
Recommended If You Like: Trains Followed Us, The Receiving End of Sirens, 2 Enoch, Saosin, Metatron
This album was good and they are some really nice dudes, I met them when they came through NC....that being said, I wish, to be fair to them, that the majority of your review did not focus on religious bias! They have a target audience and they are catering to it very well! Focus on the music, not the demographic.
i think this album is REALLY great as a whole.
yeah.. the review did seem to focus too much on a negative religious bias.
i actually think the album is great for anyone - christian or not!
you can just tell there is something real about it..
i happen to favor this album on long drives, on my ipod, when im sleeping. i gets me thru the day...it's that good. who cares what religion they are?! i say, when you write an album review, focus on the music. these guys are awesome live. the recordings don't do it justice.
OCEAN IS THEORY!! Cool review. i totally agree with the winding riffs and powerful choruses. i think this band is amazing 'specially how young they are. i didn't really think the religious stuff was forced or like they were trying to sell it too much. i think they are honest lyrics about honest situations but whatev. A+++
I have one objection to this band and one only...listen to their opening song "Plant Your Fields"..after the opening, switch over to In:Aviate on their EP "Speak" and play the first song "Voluspa"..the beginnings are nearly identical..and I:A came out quite some time before Ocean Is Theory..not to say it was purposely, but take a listen. You'll be surprised by the similiarity.