Manchester five piece Oceans on Mars are here to start 2021 with a statement and their heavy stomping anthem Mirror scratches that itch while we patiently (and not so patiently) wait for live music to return to our lives.
I’ve noticed a couple of bands do a cross-over style between alternative heavy and that more traditional heavy rock style, and here Oceans on Mars do it really successfully. There’s plenty of considered class rock god guitar solos and soaring vocals within Mirror to keep even the likes of Robert Plant satisfied, while keeping it nice and fresh and clean for da indie crew.
I can’t imagine the frustration. While I wished a different year, 2020 hasn’t been a wasted time personally, as I’ve used the quiet contemplation time to draft a book. However, if your creative outlet is music, then it must be a killer. I know the band (Haydyn Biddle (Vocals), Angus Scott (Lead Guitar), James Oldham (rhythm guitar), Alex Fairhurst (bass) and Gregg Wilkes (Drums) have been in the studio a few times between September and November, so I’m hoping for less than an 8 month gap before the next tune hits our ears.
When you compare Mirror to the last Oceans on Mars track Don’t Tell Me Where I Am released last April, there are considerable sound and style differences. While it is tempting to want our favourite bands to tread water with successive releases, actually that indicates a bit of stagnancy. Pleasingly Mirror has a less immediate but ultimately more complex sound. I’m spotting different riffs, and tiny little bridges interwoven into the overall sound which gives the song a rich and lush tapestry.
With the last track, Dont Tell Me Where I Am, and with lead vocalist Haydyn Biddle particularly in mind, I got a real Eddie Vedder, and Peal Jam vibe. While fans of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Queens of the Stone Age will love Oceans on Mars, Mirror confirms Oceans on Mars to be their own men, with the strong musical imagination needed to beat out their own musical path. Trust me, there will come a time where other bands will be credited as sounding a bit like Oceans on Mars.
- Images taken from the band’s social media