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Ocean Hills: Santa Monica

When Hollywood meets the feet of ground stomping Modern Rock ‘N’ Roll, it evidently becomes a clean affair of pristine Alternative Rock smothered in the fine flare and flavour of American Hard Rockers Alter Bridge, Shinedown and Godsmack. Fronted by the Hungarian born Terminator: Dark Fate actor Zoli Teglas, Ocean Hills bring their own spin of groove-laden working-class musicality to the dinner table and the group exceedingly distribute a very punchy debut record to be solemnly reckoned with to the ears of listeners. This record has the balls, attitude and honesty to provide Rock fans with an absolute delight, however this record suffers from overly-processed drums that can be slightly off putting at the best of times; bringing the only real flaw to this hymn book of bombastic tracks and harmonious appreciation.

Firing from all cylinders, the boys kick us off with the anthemic hellraiser ‘Bound’, delivering the goods and hounding listeners with colossal tentacles then astutely escorting the flock with what is to come on this stupendous offering before conciliating down a notch with single hit ‘Santa Monica’ and eventually reaching the bone crushing ‘Death and Liberty’. Moreover, Ocean Hills can unquestionably be congratulated on their diversified contrasts of highly-commanding euphonious creativity here and it undeniably peaks through the clouds on every single one of these songs in the most grandeur construction; gloriously shining through like a gleaming summers' day.

In addition, the feeling and tonality of the sweet-soothing guitar harmonies on ‘Like A Lady’ are reminiscent of something Bachman-Turner Overdrive would be ultimately proud of and the most consequential subject to note with all these fitting compartments is that they will certainly grow on you no matter how hard you try to resist the temptation. On the other side of town, Ocean Hills really hit home with the notable and face-melting heaviness of first single ‘A Separate Peace’; the outfit are really on fire at this point and you can even hear the range of influences bursting through the seams with a bridge that current-era Europe frontman Joey Tempest would be overjoyed with.

As the progression foothold takes place ticking off the tracks one by one, the pace drops down a touch towards the latter end to become more of a Melodic Rock outlet and it does not feel like you are listening to the same rocking assembly; this is not an inferior thing to cast your ears upon though. Comprehensively, the transportation is the key to the portfolio of these catchy and indomitable tunes; reaching those tremendous heights of the new Modern-Rock world with high hopes that this is not a one-off project of Teglas’ classy and honourable Hungarian-American tribe.

Track Listing

  1. Bound
  2. A Separate Peace
  3. Death or Liberty
  4. Santa Monica
  5. Budapest My Love
  6. Hold Me
  7. Angels Wings
  8. Vampire
  9. Christina
  10. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Added: June 7th 2021
Reviewer: James Mannion
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 683
Language: english

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Ocean Hills: Santa Monica
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-06-08 02:46:22
My Score:

With a name suggesting this five-man band plays shimmering and forgettable pop, Ocean Hills defies expectations with an absolutely killer rock record.

Think Shinedown without all the seriousness, Alter Bridge without all the heaviness and Nickelback without all the grossness. You’ll also hear echoes of the classic rock that so obviously invigorates Ocean Hills Hungarian-born frontman Zoli Teglas -- who, incidentally, sings these “working-class rock n’ roll” songs in a voice that recalls Freddy Mercury, Klaus Meine and Myles Kennedy. Film buffs may recognize Teglas’s name from a supporting role in 2019's Terminator: Dark Fate, but Santa Monica makes it clear his future is etched in rock.

In press materials for Ocean Hills’s debut album, Teglas explains "half the band is from the Buda side of Budapest -- the hill side -- and the other half is from the beaches of California. So, calling ourselves Ocean Hills made sense. We're paying tribute to where we came from." To that end, two of the album’s most memorable and passionate songs (the soaring title track and the cinematic “Budapest My Love") fall back-to-back on the track listing. Elsewhere, “Like a Lady” sounds like stadium-ready Don’t Look Back-era Boston, the shimmering ballad “Hold Me” channels U2 and late-Eighties/early Nineties Foreigner, and “Angels Wings” earns its status as one of the album’s heaviest tracks. No two songs here sound alike, but the album’s quality does waver near the end. Still, most of Santa Monica is gloriously refreshing.

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