Monday, February 4th, 2019

Ocean Alley – Confidence

Every year, we decide to cover the song that wins Triple J’s Hottest 100. And every year, this happens.


Vikram Joseph: Through two years living Down Under, I grew to love a lot of Antipodean noise; perhaps, though, that relentless Southern Hemisphere sun, blazing through an ozone-deficient patch of stratosphere, colours Australian music trends a few shades stranger than it might otherwise be. How else do you explain the predilection for trashy skate-punk, cod-reggae peddled by long-haired stoner dudes, and Vance Joy? To that list of oddities, add Ocean Alley: bafflingly, this interminable wah-wah-drenched stodge-fest is the 2018 Hottest 100 winner. Gang Of Youths and Violent Soho, home-grown rock bands who dominated the list in recent years, might be derivative but had distinct personality and plenty of tunes; Ocean Alley’s popularity, on the other hand, is entirely inexplicable.

Thomas Inskeep: Spacey, expansive rock that actually sounds “alt” (as opposed to, say, Imagine Dragons or the 1975), and grows on me with successive listens. I love the way it stretches out and takes every bit of its time.

Iris Xie: All day today, I’ve been plagued by the “she’s a confident ~lady~” hook, with the warbly pseudo-surf rock riffs. I think this song would be best appreciated if you were trapped in a dark escape room with all the exits removed, this “song” being fed through a tinny speaker in a far-off corner, and with mysterious scratching noises coming through the walls — it’s the only real way to fully take in the endless, dreadful desperation this song exudes. I’m just relieved that this song ends and retreats quickly.

Alfred Soto: Is that a wah-wah I hear? Are there echoes of Player’s “Baby Come Back” in the vocal melody? So much for alternative rock credentials.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: A bit of amateurish ’70s yacht rock pastiche that thinks a healthy dose of reverb can bolster its lyrics beyond dudely insipidness. It’s built for casual, humid weather listening, but there’s a seriousness with which Baden Donegal sings “She’s making me nervous/I think she knows/she’s out of my leeeeaaaague” that makes this unignorably laughable. They have confidence, I’ll give them that.

Jonathan Bradley: This is summer music: its acrid ooze has the miasma of vomit baking into a beach suburb footpath in December. My reaction is physical.

Katherine St Asaph: Quasi-incel shit set to porno-guitared yacht rock and wheedling vocals sneering out the word “lady” should be my own personal [0] beacon, so I can’t explain why it’s not. Perhaps Maroon 5 and Charlie Puth have set the bar so low it’s not difficult to clear?

Edward Okulicz: This song is the sound of sunburn, the second-cheapest IPA the pub has on tap, and “getting all chill.” I officially loathe all dudes under the age of 37.

Reader average: [2.8] (5 votes)

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7 Responses to “Ocean Alley – Confidence”

  1. Grateful to say I haven’t heard this yet

  2. Their cover of “Baby Come Back” also made the countdown, Alfred. It’s a major influence. ?????

  3. I just KNEW I was gonna be the high score on this. (Sorry, EO.)

  4. @Edward: The worst IPAs are still better than this song

  5. As bad as this is, that “Baby Come Back” cover is leagues more abyssal. Probably because it should never have worked when Player did it, yet somehow turned out great, any deviation from the original causes the entire proposition to go to shit.

  6. Original version of “Baby Come Back” – has Ridge Forrester playing bass.

    Ocean Alley cover – does not have Ridge Forrester playing bass.

    Even though RF is the worst soap character of all time, I give this one to Player.

  7. Ben —

    I knew nothing about them.