A little over a year after our initial presentation of the band, HOLD DOWN THE OCEAN (members of Philadelphia legends All Else Failed) are back to our pages with their new exciting release on Head2Wall Records! Dubbed “Sidereal Year“, the band’s new atmospheric amalgam of post rock and post hardcore comes out tomorrow, but today we have an early stream with a special track by track commentary from HOLD DOWN THE OCEAN and their special list of top 10 records that inspired their craft.
This follow-up and companion piece to 2020’s Sidereal Month EP delivers everything promised by that incredible collection and more. Building on the massive, sweeping soundscapes explored in their earlier work, but growing and exploring in consistently fascinating new ways. The emotional and visceral impact of the scope of this record would be difficult to overstate.
The CD version, as well as the digital download included with the LP, include the 5 tracks from the Sidereal Month EP.
Track 1- “We Turn To Wine’
This one started out as a reflection on some things I’m not even really fully comfortable talking about. As such, and as I was having a tough time getting the lyrics at the point that they were making any cohesive sort of point, it got reworked into a look into the human condition as seen through the lens of a course of events that occurred a few years back when we were on the road with All Else Failed.
Track 2- “The Denouement”
A far more literal take on the concept of loss, as told through a story I read while indulging in my favorite pastime, which is reading the Wikipedia entries of “People Who Disappeared Mysteriously.”
Track 3- “No One Lives Here Anymore”
A third person breakup song, which are easier to write than first person breakup songs.
Track 4- “Nova”
This is a song about Nova the dog, who I had the pleasure of spending about 11 months with in a guest house when I was between homes. At least a good portion of that time was spent helping her owner look for her.
Track 5- “Last Song About Old Bands”
While the self explanatory nature of the title certainly applies, it is more so a metaphor for feeling trapped by always going down the same road with certain things when taking emotional inventory.
Track 6- “Masking Agent”
This was conceived as sort of an overture, a summary of sorts of the whole concept of loss and how accepting loss is healthy but maybe also unhealthy in some ways. It didn’t really turn out that way but that’s how it was conceived at least.
Hold Down the Ocean’s top 10 records worth a check:
“So listing favorite records is always so tough because your favoirte as a kid and now sometimes are so far apart.” – says the band.
“We all listen to a pretty wide range of music but I’ll give a few of my all timers.”
1. Quicksand – SLIP
The lyrics and all the strings on this are amazing. My favorite thing in music is when the bass and both guitars are all playing something different and this record excels at this. It is also one of those records I remember exactly where I was and who I was with when I heard it.
2. Smog – The doctor came at dawn
Droning guitars and vocals and just crushing lyrics. You gotta be in the right mood because you are gonna be in a mood when you are done listening.
3. Joy Division – Closer
No explanation needed.
4. The Tear Garden – Last man to fly.
I still listen to this almost weekly. The mix of instruments and vocals are just on another level I hope to be able to do someday.
5. Bloodlet- Entheogen
Much like Quicksand the guitars and bass are just never playing the same thing. It’s an absolute masterpiece. Lyrically incredible. Some might struggle with the vocalists style but I think it’s brilliant.
6. Adorable – Against Perfection
Amazing shoegaze band. The simple guitar lines and emotionally lyrics have been crushing my ears for decades now. There is an Easter egg also from this record with us. I won’t spoil but if you like this record and then listen to ours you should easily hear it.
7. Failure – Fantastic Planet
This bass fuzz sound is just amazing and I love crushing fuzz with some high guitars going.
I have tinnitus really bad so listening to crickets chirp is a great masking agent and is always number one on my Spotify as most listened to for the year so can’t leave that out. If you suffer from this don’t give up, it will only do to you what you let it do to you. Don’t fight it, find a way somehow someway to live with it by masking it or meditating on it to get control.
9. Jim Yooshi Pile Up – Homemade Drugs
This is an absolute weekly listen for me. Sad I didn’t catch this band util they where done. Brilliant guitar work and lyrics to make you miss yesterday.
10. Juno – This is the way it goes and goes…
Much like all the others but in this case 3 guitars all playing something different. Lyrics that speak right to the little man banging away inside my head. JANUARY ARMS, if you don’t feel this song at least lyrically you might need help.