The Eighth Sea
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The Eighth Sea


Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Aquarian"

EMERSON, NJ—At 7 p.m., The Emerson Hotel was filled with 40-something-year-olds and their kids. When The Eighth Sea started at 9 p.m., the place looked more like your local V.F.W.Hall than an Applebee’s with high school-aged rockers and unassuming family patrons colliding to create some warped bridge in the generation gap set to the genre-less soundtrack of The Eighth Sea. The band performed only four tracks from their 2005 release Mood Swing, one of which was remixed, filling the set with over two hours worth of new material and covers. The set opener, a shaky rendition of The Doors’classic “Peace Frog,”left a bit to be desired, but the band took off like a rocket with a sexy cover of “Miss You” by The Rolling Stones. The Sublime meets Honky Tonk of the original “No Name Streets”got toes tapping, while the funky remix of the previously John Mayeresque
“The Watcher (remix)”made bodies dance in their seats (it was too crowded to dance anywhere else). Saxophonist Jeremy Fishman and guitarist Chris Hanson intertwined solos with lyrical ease in the culminating jam while drummer Sam Fishman proudly boasted his University of Rochester trained chops, In a word, The Eighth Sea are versatile. Acoustic versions of Nine Inch Nails’“Piggy”and the Tool
classic “Schism”left metal-head jaws dropped. Oren Levi wowed the restaurant with a bass solo rendition of “Norwegian Wood,”while the Middle Eastern flavored metal performance of “Citation” fit as yin to the yang of keyboardist Diana Hsu’s
solo original “Regret,”a Broadway influenced tale of missed opportunity. One more thing:white boys can rap. Vocalist Ryan Acquaotta could create the poetic flair of Jim Morrison and the gruff soul of Jimi Hendrix, but his rapping left everyone happy. Whether covering The Roots or spitting originals, Ryan’s lines fit seamlessly with the band’s urban groove.
- Chris Castro

"The Muhlenberg Weekly LIFE!"

When you ask student Ryan Acquaotta '09 to pinpoint the style of his band, he admits the answer is not rock-solid; their music, however, is. "We don't have a style yet--but I feel that when you create enough original material, a style arises from it." A large crowd got a taste of this style-in-the-making process on Saturday night at The Eighth Sea's concert in The Red Door. The performance opened with a one-of-a kind act The Late Cretaceous, a new, acoustic-rock group on campus wittily dedicated to paleontology. Cretaceous appropriately clad in dinosaur propaganda, helped usher in The Eighth Sea's second appearance at the College.
The Eighth Sea borrows from multiple genres to create an edgy sound that is distinctly their own--infused with classic rock, hip-hop and even some fantastic strands of jazz. Their playlist varies from original songs to covers of popular favorites. "We have a lot of idols and like to play their music--and we also like to learn from them," noted Acquaotta at the performance.
They incorporate a healthy balance between up-tempo and mellow material like covers of Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally" and originals such as their own "No Name Streets," to more serious compositions like their self-composed "Allentown" (no relation to the Billy Joel single!) and covers like The Doors political "Peace Frog." Ladies will appreciate some of the more romantic lyrics of the band's jazzier pieces, but guys don't fret, there's plenty of rock infused into the playlist.
In many college-bands you often run into the common dilemma of solid instrumental riffs but lackluster vocals, or a great lead vocalist with no band to back him up. The Eighth Sea, however, has the whole package. Acquaotta (many may recognize his voice from the Acafellas) doesn't falter in delivering energetic vocals throughout the concert. The guy can pull off quite a range of styles, from the band's cover of Pink Floyd"s "Money" to the softer tunes of the group's original acoustic pieces. The instrumentalists deliver as well. Member's Chris Hanson (guitar), Oren Levi (bass), Samuel Fishman (drums) and Dianna-Lynne Hsu (keyboard), as well as Fishman's Brother Jeremy making several appearances on the saxophone, keep the beat fresh and interesting.
This was The Eighth Sea's second performance at Muhlenberg; however, this group is not new to the music scene. "We've been playing music for a really long time. We've been writing music since sophomore year," stated Acquaotta. The group of musicians began performing at school functions and bars, and even recorded their first seven-track album, Mood Swing, in spring of 2005. They hop to add more performances and recordings to the repertoire. In fact Acquaotta envisions the group at a full-time level after college.
"It would be great to keep this up as a profession," he stated. With each school year that passes, each member brings back something innovative and new from their campus.
"Our influences--there are too many to list," explained Acquaotta. "We all have really different styles, but we work all of our influences in."
To learn more about the band, view pictures, find out about their next performances and hear sound clips, check out their page or check out their group on the ever-infamous Facebook. - Kim O'Brien


Mood Swing EP (2005)

1. Back Into The Light
2. Maelstrom
3. Spanish Rain
4. Alright
5. The Lonely Road
6. The Watcher
7. Blue Song
Hidden Track - Back Into The Light Reprise



The Eighth Sea is a quintet from New Jersey featuring Ryan Acquaotta (singer), Chris Hanson (guitars), Oren Levi (bass guitar), Sam Fishman (drums) and Jeremy Fishman (woodwinds). Chris and Ryan met at Bergen County Academies High School, and began writing music together in the spring of 2003. Oren, Diana (keyboards), and Sam joined the project in the fall, and the band began performing together at school functions and coffeehouses, generating a large fan base from their high school. In the spring of 2005, the band recorded a seven song demo called Mood Swing, and were able to afford the endeavor simply because so many of their fans and friends were willing to pre-order the album. After the release of Mood Swing, the band played a goodbye concert and took a brief hiatus for their first year at college.

When the summer of 2006 rolled around, The Eighth Sea kicked into a new gear, writing new songs and playing a couple gigs at parties and clubs in New York. Over the next school year, The Eighth Sea found time for several gigs at Muhlenberg College as well as some local restaurants and clubs in the New York/New Jersey area. Friends from home made it to the shows, and the band generated a huge fanbase at Muhlenberg, consistently drawing large crowds to their performances. Jeremy joined the band for several gigs, and eventually became part of the lineup.

In the summer of 2007 The Eighth Sea worked on writing new material, significantly increasing their repertoire. They also incorporated several new cover songs into their live shows, which they played in a variety of venues throughout New York and New Jersey. The Eighth Sea also engaged in several recording projects. Although the recordings are not yet complete, with an album’s worth of new material, they look forward to bringing their new songs and sounds to everyone very soon.

In the fall of 2007, things slow down for the band to allow the members to focus on school, but they managed to play two shows at Muhlenberg College and are looking forward to playing more shows over winter break. October 20th at Muhlenberg marked the last performance of keyboardist Diana Hsu. Her time with band was much appreciated and enjoyed.