Deep in the depths of Birmingham on a warm Wednesday night, Oceans Ate Alaska are preparing to play their hometown album release show for their new album ‘Hikari’. Being one of the first shows in Birmingham they have played for a while, this is a special show for them and this is how it went.
First up on the bill were Birmingham metalcore band Failure Is An Option. Opening with a tribute to Chester Bennington, the band gave a heartfelt speech about reaching out for help if you need it and played more of a softer song than they originally planned to open their set. Energy through the first few songs did lack and technical issues were predominant through the first few songs which did hinder the performance at first. However, amid the issues faced, the bands energy shot up in the last song after many issues got fixed and they definitely finished on a high note.
Second supports of the night were Lotus Eater, or as we would call them ‘Lotus Eater and the Waterproof Band’. Coming out in waterproof jackets with ‘GLOOM’ written on the back of their guitars was certainly different. The problem is, after the first song it seemed a bit generic. Their performance was average and didn’t exactly bring as much energy or originality as it could which sadly let down the performance and didn’t bring out too much audience participation either.
Next up: Our Hollow, Our Home. Our Hollow Our Home absolutely rocked the stage from the first song with their ravenous vocals and rambunctious energy. It’s clear from the outset that the crowd were massively into the fiery exuberance given off by Our Hollow Our Home. Of all the supports, Our Hollow Our Home definitely took the top spot, completely owning the stage ready to lead on to headliners Oceans Ate Alaska.
Being a small hometown release show, the audience was full of dedicated fans who instantly burst out with almost the same energy and enthusiasm as the band themselves. Opening with the hit ‘Blood Brothers’ from their last album ‘Lost Isles’. Being an album release show, Oceans Ate Alaska did show off their new material, playing the first single ‘Covert’ off the highly anticipated new album ‘Hikari’. This was an instantaneous hit with the crowd as with each song, the crowd got even more wild.
Of course, what would a hometown show be without an old fan favourite to heighten the audiences expectations? Playing ‘Clocks’ of their debut EP ‘Into The Deep’ brought back the older style of Oceans Ate Alaska and even with their new singer Jake Noaks, the energy was certainly present. Old and new songs alike, even with a new vocalist the songs were executed well. Even their metal cover of Beyoncé’s ‘Drunk In Love’ got the audience moving before moving on to their newer tracks off ‘Hikari’.
New track ‘Hansha’ was the standout of new tracks, despite only being played for the first time, it got the audience jumping and moshing, even through it is described as ‘one of the softest songs off the record’. Eventually, the band has to play their last song ‘Escapist’, bringing even more power than before to the audience and the entire venue, but of course they have to play an encore. With the crowd erupting chants of ‘one more song’, the band come on to play one of their most well-known tracks ‘Vultures and Sharks’ causing the venue to erupt into a madness of jumping, moshing and some pretty severe headbanging.
With the new album and its Japanese influences, it was hard to tell if Oceans Ate Alaska would be able to incorporate this into their live shows, luckily they did. While Covert did miss the calmer ending, the influences were present through second single ‘Escapist’ and their new track ‘Hansha’. This hometown show was clearly special to Oceans Ate Alaska, and this certainly shined through their performance and provided the outcome of a pretty amazing show.
Gig rating: 5/5