OCEANA – The Ups, Downs and Progression

July 2, 2013 | By:

Back when I was 16 Oceana were definitely one of my favourite bands. Not to be confused with the female based group who operate under the same name,  their heavy attitude pulled in a mass audience quickly as a group of talented individuals put together the album “The Tide’ back in 2008. This is where it starts. Oceana has had enough members new and old to form at least a few bands, which can explain how the band has changed such a large amount over the last 6 years, included this is a hiatus period.

Mindless:Mindless from The Tide

A young group, Oceana’s album “The Tide’ was played live all over the U.S. and were largely popular in their home town of St. Petersburg. Keith Jones, provided vocals for the debut album and caused a stir when he left, due to early signs of discontent within the band. Overall the album was a great metal album, and live they were amazing too.

Boneworks from Birth.Eater

One year later, Oceana welcomed new singer, Brennan Taulbee, whom to this day is still in the band as well as other changes over the year. Brennan’s entrance to the band instantly had an effect, their second album Birth.Eater was one that I did not enjoy compared to “The Tide”. Whilst the album was a ground for Brennan to lay his roots on based on his past of being an unwanted child, I felt that it became too much about him and not about the music. Shortly after the group disbanded to try new projects, but only for a few months.

Oceana put the past behind them to reform with new members and by 2010 they had a new ep “Clean Head”. With their new musical direction set in place Oceana still portrayed their technical abilities but no longer through metal, this time the band had switched to indie. From the style of their photo shoots, studio images and personal style the band had gone through change. I am open to all styles of music, and despite missing the old Oceana, I really enjoyed “Clean Head”, their is a live atmospheric sound to the album through both their performance and studio production.

Wool God live from Clean Head EP

Later in 2010 Oceana announced the parting from their label Rise Records, and over the next 3 years they went through different stages of personnel and changes within the band. With regular updates via Myspace the band began their biggest change. Previously Oceana had moved from metal to indie, videos of the group indicated the large change. Oceana had become a downbeat, pop rock group, with a ‘big band’ approach of using a wide range of instruments they still play homage to their technical abilities displayed in earlier albums.

It’s now 2013 and Oceana are no longer, they are now Polyenso. Despite it being sad to see the name go the group needed to change it due to the vast differences in genre and line up. After a successful Kickstarter project in 2012 the band headed into the studio to record “One Big Particular Loop”. The new album is actually amazing, and I fully support the changes within the group. It sometimes is nice to explore around and the members have grown as musicians.

Their new album is available for full stream and purchase via http://polyenso.bandcamp.com


Tim McDonnell.