A celebration of timeless music and a 350 year institution still going strong, ‘Ocean Wave’ is the new 14 track album from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines. Released to mark the 350th year of the marines – and a band who initially started as signalling drummers before growing into one of the world’s best military musical group – the album is subtitled ‘Songs of the British Isles’ and consists of a mix of songs representing different aspects of Britain.
If that sounds a bit jingoistic, it’s supposed to be, as some of the tracks selected here are a great tribute to some of the best music to come out of the country over the ages. In amongst all the ‘Rule Britannia’ choices though, there are a few curios it’s worth pointing out.
First of all, the ‘Skye Boat Song’, one of several slowly paced ballads on the album. This one sticks out though for the fact that it uses a c’or anglias for the melody, an unusual choice that sets it apart from some of the other tunes. Likewise, ‘Stranger to the Shore’ brings a touch of jazz to proceedings with Amy Dickson’s stunningly played saxophone part. Finally, ‘No-one but You’ brings another nice variation from the classical style with a female pop vocal performed by Ellie Thomas.
I guess it’s telling that the tracks that stand out are the ones that deviate from the straightforward military sound. The rest are a mix of fast marches and slow ballads, and everything in between, very well performed by a fantastic band.