Ocasan – Confessions review

Confessions - ArtworkIt’s been almost a decade since pop rock outfit Ocasan formed, and it’s been a fair few years since the Buckinghamshire collective released their debut album Ricochet. Since then, they’ve spent the time touring the UK and Europe, even reaching as far afield as Canada and Russia, before settling back home to release a string of three EPs – and Confessions completes the trio. The darkest of the releases, this four track offering finalises the second album, Elixir, and steps away from the “police-vibe” the band have taken under their wing. Instead, this is filled with big riffs and sombre lyrics.

Confessions commences regularly enough with opening track Invincible; a drum beat introduces the release in a formal and typical manner, but by the time the vocals have begun to play their part the EP has set itself away from standard pop rock the industry is pumped with. With vocal work through the verses fairly akin to that of Mallory Knox, the track is guilty of not building up to tremendous and catchy chorus, but rather chooses to restrain the melodic tension. Thanks to this, Invincible holds a sharp, clean and precise sound, the repeated phrase “bipolar roller coaster” snapping out cleanly each time.

In contrast to the phenomenal initial track, Dark Cloud may at first appear to seem a little watered down, and you might not be totally wrong in thinking that. However, aside from the starkly simplistic lyricism (“please go away, big dark cloud / and give me sunshine, some silver sunshine” – perhaps it’s supposed to be metaphorical, deep and meaningful, and I’m just missing it), this track is built on jarring riffs and a striking range, which counterbalance the slightly basic format.

With the return of the regimental clean-cut sound from Invincible, Parasite makes it as my personal favourite off the release, mingling between sing-song chants and battle cries. Perfectly suited as the backing to a film’s emancipating scene, this all but brags about its own worth with it’s over-confident pulse driving the record into the final, title track, of the piece. The pop-ier edge to the band’s work shines through as Confessions begins, although soon enough the pop-rock equilibrium is reestablished, and huge riffs accompany the (slightly repetitive) line, “this is my confession”, to bring the EP, and second album, to its close.

Many record have a different turn in each track, but the length of the variation in each of these track makes Ocasan’s Confessions a real stand-out in an over-crowded room.

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