The first thought I had when I descended into the venue was "this band sounds really into it." I was a little skeptical when I went to see We Are The Ocean
on Sunday night at Webster Hall-- 'Emo' isn't a genre I have much experience listening to, and I usually discredit bands that have fancy, coordinating Bieberhair. But there's no denying that this British quartet has done their homework. We Are The Ocean has the sound down to a science; build up tension with a distorted guitar and a big beat, and let it all release with a gutteral scream, and repeat. The crowd, teeming with body odor and eyeliner, howled with Beatlemania devotion. W.A.T.O. ran through as many songs as possible in their short set, supported by a packed house that sang along to every chorus. The group is already popular in their UK motherland-- and by the looks of the show on Sunday, they're growing in America too.
We Are The Ocean was guided by the unending energy of lead man Dan Brown. He seemed estatic to be screaming his brains out for the first time in New York City. He held the young crowd's attention with call-and-responses, stage dives, and high fives all around. Brown is in his element at front and center. It was fun to see a drummer like Tom Whittaker undendingly beat the living shit out of his drums. Each band member's showmanship helped to make up for the lack of variation.
Even though every song sounded the same to me, it was great to watch a band connect so directly and genuinely with its fans. It's a rare sight with most bands to see a kid crowdsurfing for an entire song, or to see a random fan sing a full verse with the lead singer. We Are The Ocean isn't going to be for everyone. But from what I saw on Sunday, they have definitely found their audience.