Thanks to the Mexican TV station, LATV, that I just happened to stumble upon last year, I discovered the Mexican Pop-punk band Sputnik. I was immediately hooked by their pop-punk sound. While I was checking them out, I stumbled across Say Ocean. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Say Ocean are a Pop-Punk band from Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. They debuted in 2015 with the Como Si Fuera 2005 [As If It Were 2005] EP released on Godspeed Records, which gained them a local fan-base. In November of 2016, the band started a Kickstarter campaign to fund their debut full length Mejores Tiempos [Better Times]. By December, they’d raised $74,000 pesos [about $4,000 U.S] towards the album, a modest sum for a self-release (at least by U.S standards). Mejores Tiempos was released on August 18.
The first Say Ocean song to catch my attention was “No Es Copa Mundial” [“This Isn’t the World Cup”] (a charming title, given Mexico’s affinity for soccer). It is undeniably corny (some might even say cringe-y), but I find it charming in it’s stereotypical portrayal of a Pop-Punk kid. the chorus shouts: “Soy los Vans que están bajo tu cama / Soy tus discos, playeras de bandas” [“I’m the Vans under your bed / I’m your CD’s and your band shirts”]. One of the verses references Blink-182’s iconic Enema of the State: “sigo escuchando Enema cuando voy de fiesta” [“I still listen to Enema when I party”]. Most of Say Ocean’s debut EP is built off of these trite ideas, but it’s a super high-energy album and just straight-up fun to listen to.
Mejores Tiempos, on the other hand feels a little more bland. While listening to the album all the way through, at times it feels as though it’s just one long song at times. However, it does have it’s shining moments. The two singles “Amnesia” and “Tan Felices Con Tan Poco” (read my review here) are bangers, though the final track on the album, “Siempre Mal” [“Always Bad”] is almost the exact same song as “Tan Felices Con Tan Poco.” The acoustic song “Huracán” [“Hurricane”] is a nice change of pace for Say Ocean, and gives off some Maná vibes in it’s guitar work. “Hostil” [“Hostile”] and “Tennessecito” [“I need you” mixed in with some clever—albeit inexplicable—wordplay] are also worth a listen.
Say Ocean may not have the best vocals or the most original songs, but they have some very catchy, fun jams that are worth a listen. They’ve gained an impressive local fan-base. They’ve recently played several Mexican music festivals and even opened for a Real Friends show in Monterrey, Mexico.
I will admit that the current Pop-Punk Revival has reached a saturation level, and Say Ocean are, at their core, another generic Pop-Punk band. They may not have the best vocals or the most original songs, but they have some very catchy, fun jams that are worth a listen. If you’re like me, who can never get enough Pop-Punk, or would like so spice up your Pop-Punk repertoire with some bilingualism, give Say Ocean a listen.
If I’ve piqued your interest in Mexican Pop-Punk, check out my Brown* Pop-Punk Playlist:
*As a Mexican kid, I claim my right to refer to my people as ‘Brown.’