After Ocean Grove’s first album became an immediate favourite of mine, I didn’t really know what to expect after Luke Holmes left the band and role of vocalist but after listening to Flip Phone Fantasy I was pleasantly surprised at how Dale has stepped up to vocals that aren’t completely clean.
‘Superstar’ further extends the Ocean Grove curated ‘Odd World’, which I do feel doesn’t come across as naturally as it did on The Rhapsody Tapes but ‘Superstar’ is a very worthy opener with its expansion of the bands Nu Metal stylings. Although the song is an absolute belter, I did find some lyrics like, “let me see your hands, it’s the best bit” as a bit lame and overused.
‘Neo’ has impressive percussion with Sam Bassal’s quick fills being a highlight.
While Dale’s vocals are punchy enough to maintain the heaviness of Ocean Grove throughout the album I do really miss the hardcore-esque vocals of Luke and the punch it gave to the overall sound. But that being said, the chorus of ‘Sense Again’ does really highlight what Dales vocals are best for, 90’s tinged Daniel Johns styled singing.
‘Thousand Golden People’ lends the most to the Rhapsody tapes with its contrast/juxtaposition between rapping, melodic and heavy riffs, cleans and bouncy choruses. The riff after the chorus is a highlight is unique and genuinely heavy, it’s as if the guitar is snarling at you.
I wasn’t sold on ‘Ask for the Anthem’ when it was the first song released post-Luke leaving as vocalist but it’s grown to become my favourite song on ‘Flip Phone Fantasy.’ It’s funky basslines, unique vocals and chorus are all unreal and I also love the self-referential lyric at the end “My Thunderdome, come as you are.”
I do love the expansion of the band and the direction they are heading it but I do miss the heavier sound.
Reviewed by Alex Callan