ALBUM REVIEW: Ocean Alley – Lonely Diamond
BEST TRACKS: Way Down, Infinity, Lonely Diamond
Formed by a group of friends in a backyard shed, this six-piece psychedelic funk rock band got their start playing local dive bars and house shows on the Northern coast of Sydney, Australia. 10 years later, here they are, touring all across Australia and Europe, selling out shows left and right, and playing festivals such as Lost Paradise and Soundsplash, and doing it all without a record label. It’s only a matter of time before this band starts making their presence known in the United States. Ocean Alley’s first album, Lost Tropics is youthful and beachy, their second album, Chiaroscuro is bluesy and mature, but Lonely Diamond, Ocean Alley’s third studio album, is absolutely dazzling mix of them both, taking the tropical, beachy energy of Lost Tropicsbut adding the maturity and pensiveness of Chiaroscuro to make Ocean Alley’s greatest album to date.
The first thing I noticed about this album is the incredible cleanness of the sound. The percussion is tight, the guitar is crisp, and lead singer Baden Donegal’s voice is smooth and clear. The production quality is impeccable, but if you’re used to only listening to fuzzier garage style rock, this album will definitely be a change of pace. However, an album doesn’t have to be fuzzy and chaotic to have energy. Lonely Diamond has more of a deeper, cooler intensity than what you would expect from an average psychedelic rock band. The riffs are often dark on slow, and pulling you repeatedly into crawling buildups that lead to immense, cathartic climaxes.
This entire album reminds me of the time I drove 10 hours straight through the night to New York by myself. It gives me a feeling of thrill and danger, but the knowledge deep down that everything is bound to be okay in the end, no matter where I end up, because life is good.