Crunchy, hard rock riffs. Supple acoustic melodies. A piano-born harmony that intertwines with vocals both smoky and unguarded. Drums that seem to bear down on us beside a bassline that could move entire peaks and valleys if it saw fit. This is Ocean Hills’ single and music video “Death or Liberty,” and to call it a furious rock n’ roll anthem wouldn’t be doing it enough justice. Ocean Hills aren’t changing the world as we know it here, nor are they trying to revolutionize rock music by any critical measurement. They’re on a mission to give this genre lifesaving resuscitation, and their efforts are greatly appreciated by listeners like myself.
Official Website: https://oceanhills.band/
While the video for “Death or Liberty” is frills-free, the riffs and lyrical fabric in this track each sport enough of a cinematic energy on their own to compensate for the general lack of indulgence on our screen. Truth be told, any more bells and whistles – outside of those in the music, to be clear – simply would have made this too intense to watch. There’s already such a strong dynamic coming from the collective wallop of the melodies and their adjoining grooves here for there to be any more flash in the imagery, and Ocean Hills were smart for acknowledging as much right out of the gate.
You can call it all brawn with a warm melodic bite if you want, but no matter what fans and critics decide to deem this second official single from the band known as Ocean Hills, it’s a killer introduction to their sound for sure. Rock has been absent from the conversation for a lot of big-league music journalists in the last decade not because of disappearing fans but instead because of lackluster mainstream output. Bands like this one are out to change the narrative for rock, and songs like “Death or Liberty” are going to get it done.