The End Of The Ocean: No Singers, No Fear Of Caligula
It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks off we're trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.
Let's be very clear about something. As a singer Rocks Off is not in favor of instrumental rock music. Rebecca Black's "Friday" is proof that the music industry is finally trying to replace singers with robots, and frankly we don't need a group like Columbus, Ohio, natives The End of the Ocean, who can actually play their instruments without a front man strutting among them adding to our inferiority complex.
Most instrumental jams just make us feel like we've missed out on a whole subset of the music world by never smoking pot, but The End of the Ocean actually brings a modern alternative sensibility and beauty to their music. What they coax from their amps is something that feels as epic as a Final Fantasy cutscene and as relevant as tonight's news.
We're digging it, is what we're trying to say.
But that name... The End of the Ocean? The end of the ocean is freaking land. You can't call a band "Land." That's an uppity cow, right there, and we'll have no part of it. Stupid, lousy no-singer-havers!
We put all the things we learned watching Navy SEALS to work and snorkeled our way onto their tour bus to demand where the hell the name came from.
"The idea of our band was born out of a concept about a journey through the ocean taken by a close-knit crew of people - shipmates," says bassist Bryan Yost. "Shipmates share the same anguish, elation and victories - it doesn't matter if they weather the same circumstances together at the same time - they all experience these things with and through each other.
"Most everybody experiences life this way. We wanted to capture the vastness of the ocean and the variance of emotions that a sea journey would entail if it were immortalized into a soundtrack."
Could it be? Could we have finally found a band whose name actually has some meaning to the music they were doing and the lifestyle they wished to live?
It seemed impossible, but that actually made some kind of damn sense. The music of The End of the Ocean does flow like the soundtrack to some kind sea opera... 'cept of course that operas have singers.
"Because of how big the ocean is and all of the secrets it holds, it can be paralleled to many things such as human nature, rise and fall of empires, war, mercy, grace, hate, love, life, death," says Yost. "We wanted to pick a band name that could be left open to the interpretation of the listener to decide for themselves what they feel and think when they listen to our music."
Frankly we basked in this. So often when we explore band names we get explanations ranging from love of beer to simple "Yeah, we really should come up with an answer for this question." Here was meaning.
There was one thing we feared though. When we first heard the name The End of the Ocean, we were just thinking about beaches. What if there really was an end to the Ocean?
We're sure most of you have heard of Caligula, the Roman emperor who ruled between 37 and 41 A.D. Caligula started out okay, but he had some kind of stroke early in his reign, fell into a coma, and when he woke up was thoroughly cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
Allegedly, he tried to make his horse a Senator, pimped for his sister when not partaking of her product himself, and once threw an entire section of the audience to the lions during a day of gladiator fights because he was bored. To be fair, in ancient accounts of Roman emperors it seems that accusations of these type maybe just be the classical equivalent of the Birthers, but Rocks Off isn't going to let that possibility stop us from extolling the civic virtues of equestrian governance.
The reason that we bring up Caligula, though, is because he kicked the ocean's ass.
One of the things Romans loved was conquering people, and then parading the loot and prisoners through the streets of Rome. They called it a Triumph, and like arranging gladiator matches and chariot races, it was a good (if not essential) way to curry favor with the voting crowd.
Well, Caligula wanted to hold a Triumph, and sent the army to conquer Britain. When they got there, there weren't enough ships to carry them across. Caligula had them gather sea shells by the sea shore, carry them back to Rome, parade them through the streets, and told everyone he'd conquered the ocean and robbed her of her treasure.
Nobody argued with him because it's not a good idea to get on the bad side of a guy whose Facebook interests include "poisoning."
What if some modern-day Caligula pulls the same trick? No more sea journeys, no more shipmates, and eventually no more music from The End of the Ocean.
"With a force as epic and crushing as the ocean, it is obvious that Caligula was a liar," assures Yost. "As a band, we are merely men and woman who are known to slay thousands of pizza slices."
So there is hope... and pizza!
The End of the Ocean (n): 1. The power of sea through comradeship. 2. Soundtracky goodness. 3. Caligula was full of shit. Why does this Coke taste funny? Poison!? Never mind, it's just Pepsi.
The End of the Ocean plays with Lights of Attica and Josiah Gabriel Thursday, March 31, at The Mink.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.