Treading Oceans – ‘Land Of Misfit Toys’.
From my experience of reviewing and featuring bands from St. Louis, Missouri, the locale seems to be producing strong additions to the underground scenes in and around tuneful Emo-tinged Pop-Punk. This is where Treading Oceans and their late release Land Of Misfit Toys comes in. The band’s second release builds on the strong foundation laid by their 2016 debut release cementing them further as comfortably in and out of the seemingly indestructible Pop-Punk genre-tag.
The progressively toned intro track does the job of setting up this latest release with a sound very much typical of the band’s home-base. ‘Ghost Fight’ is slow and cumbersome with the stark contrast between the low bass sat somewhere in harder-Punk territory and the Pop-Rock/Pop-Punk guitar work allowing the track to effortlessly stand itself out. The band’s vocals are very typical of the rockier-end of the genre but in their strong melodies help to cement what the band are going for, that being melodic but simultaneously discordant sing-a-longs.
After fighting personal demons in ‘Ghost fight’ the band are in search of some sense to apply to a love admitted wholly in ‘The Walk’. The contrast between the lead and bass strings is again of note here, with the band wearing their influences well, influences which include but are not limited too, The Story So Far, Knuckle Puck and arguably fellow natives, Old State, who you can find – Here.
‘Nothing Good’ I may or may not be criticised to say is very reminiscent of mid-career Paramore before they abandoned their guitars and sense of originality completely. ‘Nothing Good’ is a departure from the slower tempo and more inline with a contemporary Pop-Punk sound and a release highlight. That said, its status as such is supplanted almost immediately as ‘Dreams Deferred’ hurtles itself towards you via damn-near classic Pop-Punk tempo and welcome dual vocals.
‘Cinder Blocks’ is the sad love-song of the release and again changes direction with its well crafted acoustic structure while the closing ‘Bad Connections’ really does save the best until last.
Teasing you with a crunching intro the band continues to balance their melodies and clear penchant for low-ridden rhythms and jagged riffs. Once again, ‘Bad Connections’ is not a wholly happy song in its catharsis but it also isn’t a completely negative either, as determination will go far if never abandoned. This down-tempo and jagged Pop-Punk track really does suit the band and as much as those brief moments of pace see them at their best, they have this aspect of their sound well and truly down and it rounds off an enjoyable EP.
‘In 24 hours
Like well arranged flowers
You decadently placed doubt in my mind’
Treading Oceans are done with simply treading water and I look forward to the next installment where hopefully my pun-game will be stronger.