As if in answer to the current mania for scrappy garage rock, Manchester's Oceansize deliver a debut album of an immensity to match their name with Effloresce
. Immediately, they set out their store, the opening instrumental "I Am the Morning" rising from a pretty tinkling to a quite awesome three-guitar prog-rock crescendo. And then it gets bigger, the multi-faceted "Catalyst" raising the tension with numerous false starts before taking off for real. The following "One Day All This Could Be Yours" is another mind-blitz, its muted, very English harmonies recalling Pink Floyd
, while the constantly mutating, 10-minute "Massive Bereavement", with backing vocals courtesy of Claire Lemmon from the criminally under-rated Sidi Bou Said
, approaches the spacey sci-fi and crunching metallics of prime-era King Crimson
. Amazingly, its power is matched by two other caustic monsters, "You Wish" and "Saturday Morning Breakfast Show".
Though Effloresce is not wholly about the gradual construction of complex space-rock freak-outs--the soft, bassy "Rinsed" and moody piano piece "Unravel" do change the mood--at 75 minutes, it does become a tad indigestible. Then again, any band that figures Andrew Eldritch so prominently in their "thank you" list is bound to go over-the-top. Having climbed so high so quickly, it'll be fascinating to see where Oceansize could possibly go next. --Dominic Wills