English alt-rockers River Becomes Ocean originally emerged at the end of 2013 when members Martin McMahon, Danny Snow, Ben Bartup and Dorian Neidhardt came together in Brighton. Within a year of their formation, they’d released a critically acclaimed EP, toured throughout Europe, and served as support for genre heavyweights such as Funeral for a Friend, The Qemists and Silverstein. Now they’re back with a brand new EP named December, which is due to drop on June 21st.
The five track undertaking opens with the chilling chant of “We Will” ahead of an explosion of wild riffs and exciting screaming. The instrumentation continues to ring out raucously underneath expressive singing on the way forward, all of which thrills through its thunderous delivery. Things eventually tone down for a sequence of sobering guitars before a clamorous climactic chorus comes in to put a powerful cap on the proceedings.
“Lies” heads in a more laid back direction when it’s done, kicking off with cool vocals amid soothing instrumentation. The atmosphere stays stirring as the song sails smoothly across moving melodies and music, resulting in a restrained yet rousing affair that exudes plenty of poignancy and passion. “Seven” succeeds it by starting subtle again, then erupts into an onslaught of hard-hitting guitars and percussion. The shrill serenades of the stanzas combine with the heartfelt harmonies of the choruses to create a compelling composition that feels deep and meaningful as it unfolds.
“Buried at Sea” is another touching tune made up of weighty riffs and melodic singing. There’s an air of urgency surrounding the whole thing as it treks enthrallingly through volleys of forceful guitars and fantastically fiery vocals. “For Now” is a lot lighter afterwards, introducing itself via an ethereal harmony atop soft instrumentation. The rhythm remains relaxing as gentle riffs are coupled with calm crooning to bring the record to an eloquent end.
River Becomes Ocean have amassed a diverse and endearing assortment of alternative anthems that are packed full of feeling and fervour. The wide range of emotions manifested throughout December allows for an enlivening listening experience that should appeal to genre enthusiasts everywhere.