Put on by Surprise You’re Dead Productions, this Wednesday saw home grown tech metal heroes Oceans Ate Alaska (herein referred to as OAA to save my poor fingers) perform at the spectacularly decorated Mama Roux’s in Birmingham. With the release of their new album, Hikari, only days away it seemed fitting they’d play a show here to celebrate and they brought a bumper undercard with them.
Opening on the night were fellow Birmingham band Failure Is An Option (8/10). Their pink infused metal sound sets them up as a perfect first band and it’s credit to the Surprise You’re Dead guys for putting their trust in this little known metal band again. On this occasion it is well placed and the band carry off their set in a manner fitting of a band far more experienced than themselves. In the interview I did with the band they described OAA as influences and you could see how much these guys wanted to impress. Mission accomplished.
Next up were Lotus Eater (7/10), a fittingly named band considering the meaning behind Hikari and one that picked up where Failure Is An Option left off. Their sound is slightly harder to get your head around than the Birmingham boys, so those in the crowd with little or no knowledge of the band struggle to get involved. This had no effect whatsoever on the performance though which was powerful and befitting of the night. With a sound they’re constantly looking to evolve and keep current, Lotus Eater have a potentially big future ahead of them and I’d recommend jumping aboard now and joining me on this journey.
A more familiar name in the scene are Our Hollow, Our Home (8/10). With more experience under their belts and being a more well known name, these guys found it easier to settle in and get the crowd on their side. The South coast mettalers hit the ground running here tonight and didn’t really look back. Their brand of heavy, similarly to OAA, is so malleable it can fit alongside a huge raft of bands and this was no exception. If you’re under any illusion to the standard of underground metal bands around the country than these three bands supporting tonight are a shining example of what is bubbling just under the surface. They just need people to take a chance on them and by that I mean promoters, venues but most importantly fans. It’s no good signing umpteen petitions to save whatever venue if you don’t support the scene that is building there by getting down and spending some money on them. Surprise You’re Dead are taking chances on bands and it is currently paying off in Birmingham and the surrounding area as Failure Is An Option, Lotus Eater and Our Hollow, Our Home are proving here.
One band that are just about that underground scene are headliners Oceans Ate Alaska (9/10). Celebrating the release of their new album, and the first one with Jake Noakes fronting the band, this evening was never going to disappoint. From the moment they hit the stage, throughout the 45+ minutes they were out there barely anyone was stood still. From the pit to the balcony, everyone was in a jubilant mood and the celebrations spread like wildfire. Being a hometown show it was never in doubt that there would be a good crowd and Mama Roux’s was more than 50% sold before those that bought tickets on the door got there. A commendable effort for a band that are only now starting to get the attention they deserve from the British crowds and press alike.
Considering only a few tracks had been released from Hikari, and a couple of those only for a matter of days, before this show it was impressive the reaction that they got. Any fan wantings for band members gone bye are getting fainter and fainter with each show that passes as Jake had proved he is 100% the man for the job. This was my first time seeing him on stage and he performed in a manner that would have you thinking he’d always been fronting the band.
It will always divide opinion amongst fans, but for me Hikari is OAA’s best album to date and this show was easily the best I’ve seen them perform. With the new album will be the inevitable tours that come with it. Do yourself a favour and get tickets to the shows when they’re announced. This beast is evolving into an unstoppable juggernaut.
If you want to keep up to date with the bands that played tonight their Facebook’s are here:
You can also catch up with all of the action at Surprise You’re Dead Productions here: