“What’s the Use”
Released by NoKill on June 18th, 2014
written by New Oceans
lyrics by David Downs
recorded by Charlie Crane and D. Downs
mastered by Charlie Crane
’What's the Use' is the first EP by the Chicago grunge rock band, New Oceans. It's a brief, four song, album that gives a strong statement to the direction the band is moving musically. It was produced on a near zero budget with many tracks recorded and mixed in the guitarist's apartment using home studio equipment.
The lyrics of all four songs were written by David Downs from personal stories of growing up in a dusty backwater town in Missouri. 'What's the Use' opens with 'Two Beds' describing the marriage between Downs' grandparents. They slept in separate rooms, living separate lives in the same house. 'Overman Culture' takes its name from the novel written by Edmund Cooper. The song portrays the struggles of being a freak in high school, where you are judged and taunted by your peers. It's ironically set to a catchy, almost happy tune. 'The Good Friend' sings the inner struggles of a person asked to do something terrible to help out a friend in need. In this case, they are asked to cut up and hide the body parts of a person their friend has murdered. This song was not trying to be too obvious or give too much away. In reality, the friend did it, and a confession led him to serve five years in prison. 'Godshaped Hole', AKA 'Frogshaped Shoe', or 'The Fucking Fast Song' is about coming to know God. Obviously it's not your normal song about conversion. It's the feeling out doubt that comes when comparing logic to faith. The chorus alternately screams out, "Die in me" and "Doubt in me" and is left open for interpretation by the listener.
New Oceans is a three-piece band living in Chicago and playing together, in this incarnation, since winter, 2014. After many changeovers between bassists, drummers, and even keyboard players, the final lineup consists of Rob Miller on bass guitar, John Kehoe on drums, and David Downs on vocals and guitar. Musically, they share more in common with bands they grew up listening to from Seattle in the 90's or garage bands from the 60's than anything coming out of their home town today. They feed heavily from the music of Nirvana, Sonic Youth, The Breeders, and further classics like The Velvet Underground, and The Stooges. It's never been an issue for them to fit in to the local music scene. They just play what they want to hear.
David Downs for New Oceans
snail mail 3804 N Pine Grove Ave. Apt. 1, Chicago, IL 60613