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4.6 out of 5 stars28
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 October 2003
Efflorescence and Oceansize could give you a major surprise. I have to keep remining myself this is only their first album and it's a monster. Continuous fresh ideas, layers of textured sounds and memorable guitar riffs underpinned by a drummer who knows exactly what he's doing. A confident and impressive debut.
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on 2 February 2014
Yes, this is right up my street.
Modern prog rock, and done so much better than the others!
They sound like too many bands to mention, yet there is something that sets them apart!
Excellent!
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on 13 September 2003
Oceansize's debut has been something I've been anticipating for some time, it doesn't disappoint! Its a sprawling monster of an album. At 12 tracks and 75 minutes, it's certainly not gonna contain catchy punk songs! For most fans you'll know what to expect here. Indeed, a lot of tracks on the album have been seen previously on some of Oceansize's excellent EPs. Some of the older tracks have been re-recorded and sit nicely with the new material. This is, in my opinion, a must have for 2003. It beats the socks off some of the high profile albums from this year and never fails to impress.
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on 19 March 2004
lets get the embarrasing thing out of the way first...i've seen these guys live before, and can't really remember much about it. t'was at the annual cardiacs london gig (Nov 2002) and they were doing support, including standard 'we're very happy to be here' act. the cynicism i felt at the time was unfair, cos they came on later to do a cover of 'eat it up worms hero'. hero status (or at least good taste) confirmed
so what of the album then? how it should be done; the guitars are loud, the rhythm section compliment each other brilliantly. best bit is the symbol roll in 'one day all this...', prelude to an assualt to the senses (note to david gray/ travis fans and other such musical illiterates; THIS IS A GOOD THING!). other standout tracks are 'catalyst' (especially the start), 'massive bereavement', 'you wish', 'remember where you are' and 'saturday morning...'. 'long forgotten' is teh only real low point.
must try to catch them live again, only this time i'll be paying attention...
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on 23 October 2003
I listened to the second track, 'Catalyst' on a listening post and was instantly hooked by the interesting rythms/timings and powerful mix of distortion guitar choruses with mellow melodic verses. I rushed to buy the album and hear what else they had to offer and after listening to it on loop in my car for the last week, I'm afraid I'm slightly dissapointed. The first 5-6 tracks are good - track 2 is by far the best, but I can't help losing interest towards the end of the album. I love my weird timings in songs but this album is a really difficult album to get into. Hands down to the drummer though... blimey, he can play! All in all, I like the album and appreciate that they're trying to bring some originality to the table but just hope that they can get a few more hooks and singalongs into the next album.
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on 12 March 2004
Instructions:
- receive CD from amazon
- insert CD in player
- turn volume up...way up
- select track 11 (Saturday Morning Breakfast Show)
- stand back/prepare to duck...
- ..as speaker fragments fly past your ears!
Great album. Don't know about the references to Pink Floyd in the other reviews. I think they stand on their own as far as originality goes. It's a sort of melancholic, moody mixture that very often blows your socks off in terms of shear power. They are definitely on my 'Must See Live' list.
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on 22 October 2003
This is an album full of good ideas.
The main problem though is there's too much unnecessary filler surrounding them.
It's over 75 minutes long yet only contains 12 songs, three of which are relatively short instrumentals.
The best track by far is Catalyst and lasts over six and a half minutes - yet it could easily lose two or three minutes without affecting the track in any way.
Many other tracks are in a similar state - long intricate intros which don't go anywhere or bloated self-indulgent middle sections - which only dilute the energy of the track rather than add to it.
This album really needed a producer who would have cut out all the unnecessary filler.
As for the songs themselves, Catalyst and Amputee are (filler aside!) as good as anything I've heard for a long time, but unfortunately the others are either pretty bland or, more worryingly, sound like these guys have been listening to "Prog Rock" minus the keyboards - there are too many attempts at trying to create "epic" tracks when cut down versions would
have had a far greater affect.
It doesn't help that the vocals (a pretty good singer when given the chance to shine) are so low in the mix.
Quite often there's too much going on at any one moment - especially the drums which are too cluttered and too prominent - to allow the tracks to breath and gain any real identity.
If this album had cut out the self-indulgent filler and was a bit sparser in construction then this would be a very impressive debut album.
But at over 75 minutes there's just too much filler to sit through to get to the good bits.
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on 25 February 2005
Effloresce means "To blossom forth". Unless Oceansize mean that it takes a long time for them to open up, before you see them at their best, I find this almost offensively pretentious! Still, never judge a book by its cover, eh? Actually, this you can judge by its cover... Anyone who has seen Oceansize live, or bought their early e.p's will not fail to be let down by this (in my opinion).
The album is too long, and there's a strong sense that all the new songs are included as filler material - with the exception of the first track ('I am the Morning' a nice, swooping Intro, but perhaps a bit too long... and the old intro to Catalyst was better in my opinion) and last track ('Long Forgotten', the only new song with lyrics, which brings to mind ..Trail of Dead in their more relaxed moments on Madonna, and is generally lovely despite having the same lead line as the nice bit in Saturday Morning).
Unravel would be a tame B-side; nice though the initial loop of a piece by Ravel is, the song goes nowhere and is very forgettable. Rinsed is basically the Lake by The Cooper Temple Clause, although apparently Size went in to the studio and improvised it all live, so you can kinda forgive them that.
Unfortunately, the old song dont do much to redeem the album. Catalyst, You Wish, Amputee and Women Who... are all rerecorded, plus the studio version of massive bereavement (changes?? its a bit shorter...) and as a result the album sounds rushed, and lacking the sonic weight found in the e.p. versions.
Saturday Morning, on the other hand, manages to improve on the original version, as it now contains all the mutations the song has grown in the past 4 years of playing it live.
Remeber Where You Are sticks out like a sore thumb - its the first song theyve recorded since being signed that gets close to Catalyst in style - here the band are more experimental with their soundscape, using a mellotron and a much more mature approach to the louder sections, not to mention a lovely little outro...
But, if - like me - you bought the single already, there's really nothing much here (and i wont even begin to talk about the cynically poppier second single One Day... nonsense) so my best advice is this - buy the "A Very Still Movement" e.p. and buy the new "Music for Nurses" e.p. and go onto the Oceansize site and download "Breed Siamese" (or buy the "One Day..." single) but dont bother buying Effloresce unless its very cheap.
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