Since 2014’s Soft Focus, it’s been impossible to pick The Ocean Party’s strongest songwriter. Breaking out of the fallow fields of Melbourne jangle, they’ve been advancing a form of guitar-pop that still bears the marks of your Paul Kellys and Go-Betweenses, but Beauty Point makes the edges of post-punk and New Wave more visible.
The bubbling energy of Crisis and Quiet Life churn all panicked and anxious; the elastic bass of Concrete View and Strike anchor them as secret punk sneers. Elsewhere, street level romantics still linger: Memorial Flame Trees takes the Main Street, Anytown malleability of Cold Chisel’s classic and marries it to war memorials. Originally known for breezy Millennial yarns, The Ocean Party’s latest picks up where Robert Smith should’ve left off, and makes it look all too easy.
Beauty Point is out August 18 via Spunk.