This Across All Oceans article was written by Ben Kendall, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.
The middle-living realm of suburbia has long been a common topic of lyricism in modern rock music. ‘Homegrown’ is an entire reflection of this life but also shares its qualities, having certainty and uncertainty in its direction, but eager nevertheless to go forth into whatever lies ahead…
‘Homegrown’ is the second effort of Middlesbrough-based band Across All Oceans. The group run off an emo-tinted pop-punk energy, filled with impassioned and confessional lyrics of a confined-stay-at-home life where things aren’t bad, but they aren’t too good either.
Vocalist Andrew Thomson leads the EP with expressive screams of remarkable power, refraining from the likes of controlled growls heard in heavier music like metalcore, which is at the forefront of the alternative scene today; Thomson’s voice naturally feels more authentic and fresh.
However Thomson’s cleaner singing is weaker and often too-whiny to be heard pleasantly, Across All Oceans give the impression that they’re a bit unsure as to what sounds are their strengths, and this EP feels like an exploration to find that out. They particularly shine in the tracks ‘Everywhere But Home’ and ‘Monophobia’, both contain a clear, excellent mixture of melodic emo and fast-paced pop-punk, and Thomson is at his most dominant in these. Whereas in the other tracks the vision isn’t so clear, yet they remain somewhat enjoyable songs, which are still able to highlight well the central concept of the record.
‘Homegrown’ details a life that so many adolescents in the suburbs live, and a life that so many other bands have also detailed for the same audience, but for the most part Across All Oceans avoid the banalities and create a gripping EP which will be hard-hitting for any angst-ridden kid with the same troubled thoughts.
‘Permanence’ touches on anxiety and the desire in a lot of young people to achieve in life and be remembered for something, and the feeling of falling behind when compared to your peers. Again, the title track will no doubt relate to countless, directionless youths and young adults, whom they’re certain to earn their cries at their shows. ‘Eston Square’ deals with the anger and grief of being cut off in a relationship, also dealt with in ‘Monophobia’, the lyrics can be cliché at times: “if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything,” but the heartfelt expressions that resonate throughout the entire record is more than enough to make up for it.
‘Homegrown’ has a sound that is nothing new, but that’s what makes the EP as a whole gratifying is its narration and production of the well-known aspects of teen angst. Despite the evident flaws in the record, the potential is definitely there for Across All Oceans to improve and go further with their sound.
‘Homegrown’ is out on self release on 22nd February 2016.