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4.6 out of 5 stars28
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 August 2004
How do you describe this band? One moment they sound like Mogwai, then they remind you of Radiohead and then they just pull off a huge guitar riff that shouts out influences of Nirvana. It's a beautiful hybrid of post rock and grunge.
This album kicks off with the beautiful instrumental 'You Are the Morning', which is basically Mogwai with slightly more electronics thrown into the mix. But as the metallic 'tinging' outro of this track ends, we are thrown headfirst straight into the monster riff of 'Catalyst'. But then if you thought that the song was simply going to be one of their 'loud numbers', you were wrong. Suddenly the guitars fall away and singer Mike Vennart is left softly singing over just drums and a lightly plucked but heavily distorted guitar. Then, the monster riffs kick again. And so on and so forth throughout the rest of the album. Time after time the listener is surprised by sudden changes in tempo, dynamics and volume.
Another thing about the music is that it really does live up to the bands name. The sound that emits from your speakers is huge. You get the feeling that if only the band were able to get enough attention; they would sound perfect filling out an entire arena or huge festival. It is also easy to imagine some of the songs being used to soundtrack an epic battle, and even the quieter moments sound like 50's Cold War paranoia expressed with music. The immense soundscapes that Oceansize create are simply dripping with emotion and atmosphere. I have walked through a forest with this album playing on my Walkman and was startled by how fitting the song 'One Day All This Could Be Yours' was to the situation. The unknown surroundings, the vulnerability to attack, its all expressed on this album. All of the songs have their own little situation that they would be perfect for.
You quite simply need to own this album. If you're a fan of post-rock outfits like Mogwai or Godspeed You! Black Emperor then you should definitely check this out because Oceansize have brought something exciting and new to the genre. If you're not familiar with the aforementioned bands then buy this album to get introduced to a whole new style of music that will blow you away.
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on 22 January 2010
this marks the start of a string of consistently great releases from this drastically underrated band. Indeed, it is suprising that this is a debut effort, such is the power, precision and conviction of "Effloresce". There is a lot of variety here, and with each idea they hit the nail bang on the head.
Oceansize may not be as heavy as, say, ISIS, or as delicate as perhaps Sigur Ros, but they address both sides of the musical coin with such determination, and such visceral results, that it makes one wonder why this manchester quintet have not achived the same levels of acclaim and recognition of these and other post-rock acts. There are moments of lush, phase-laden atmospherics that lull the listener - such as the gorgeous "men who love women who love drugs"- leaving you hanging on every single, perfectly placed note. But the real highlights of the album are when Oceansize flick the switch, as they do to such dramatic effect on "massive bereavment" and the riotous "saturday morning breakfast show", and then its full on, three guitar, double-basspedal assault. Such is their ferocity at various points that they reach a tone of "post-metal" that will leave fans of Tool - a band that some compare them to - not disappointed. In between these two extremes lie some of the most invigorating anthems of the bands career - "Catalyst", a live favourite, "Remember Where you are/amputee" as a blistering, brilliant couplet - that still have the power to excite some seven years later, and gives a chance for a sing-along rarely afforded by bands of this ilk.
Throughout this long lp, the production and mixing (which are absolutely first rate) create a brilliant sense of cohesion across the variety of sounds, giving a real personality and signature to the music. In fact, the real satisfaction of this piece is to take it as a starting point, and then to follow the different avenues that their career would take. The superb Music For Nurses ep and the enthralling Everyone into Position rank highly in the Oceansize back catalogue, but this remains the purest exhibition of what this band is all about. If you like post-rock with a heavy edge, are a fan of Mogwai, ISIS, 65DOS or the Smashing Pumpkins, appreciate beauty and intricacy, then you've got no excuse for not already owning this album. A masterpiece.
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on 23 December 2003
This is quite simply the best album I have bought all year. And I've bought some good 'uns. And to think they're English...
Difficult to describe without pigeonholing them and that would be doing them a severe injustice. I guess, throw bits of Tool, Radiohead and Mogwai together and you might get close to this.
It's fantastic to discover a band playing the kind of music they want to and being recognised and applauded for doing so.
Quite fantastic...
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on 11 June 2007
What genre should one put this into must be the first question it is some sort of proto prog but with influences from the Manchester Indie scene with a touch of Art Rock such as Radiohead and some Prog Metal such as Dream Theater/Porcupine Tree with a dash of Pink Floyd. That does it let's call it Acid Space rock especially as this is what their contemporaries and Friends Amplifier seem to be categorised as. Like Amplifier they like the odd instrumental track thrown in which I certainly do not object to unlike Amplifier they do not eschew the use of keyboards to get their sound.

The vocals on this album are very emotive and at times can sound a bit stretched however the lyrics are not over blown and totally pretentious and the songs seem to come from the heart. The band also does not over do their obvious virtuosity on their chosen instruments and as such less is more.

I can recommend this album to anyone with an interest in the General Prog or Indie scenes
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on 29 November 2004
This is an absolutley excellent album. Though it has a downfall. You must have the patience to listen to it. Despite the fact it is all killer no filler some people will neglect this album due to its big melodys. Its travelling music. Something you will listen to when you need to pass the time when there are not other options. There are also some signs of a "flavour of the month" type band which haunted bands like Biffy, Funeral For A Friend or Brand New. The only difference being Oceansize can hardly be associated with the last 2. OS recall the melodic tendencies of Explosions In The Sky with at times Radiohead Bends era melancholy.
A rock equation if you like would be Explosions In The Sky Music + Bends Era Vocal Melodys + Billy Corgan writing techniquers = Oceansize
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on 13 November 2003
Listening to this takes you on a journey through a labyrinth of sound that you would never have heard before. It's refreshing, inventive and will simply blow you away.
The 2nd time you listen to it it will take you to the same world but along a different route through the same labyrinth.
Basically, once you get over the initial shock of how good the 'size are you'll then listen again and again... It's here that you notice all the different aspects of their music. In my humble opinion it is tantamount to musical genius.
More of the same please!
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on 10 January 2004
I've heard few tracks from i-net, and thought that this was something totally different to what i've listened to before! I decieded to spend some cash and purchased this album. The day i recieved it i went to my room, turned it on and i was shocked, i've listened to it 5 times without skipping a single track! i still fail to find my favourite track, they all are just brilliant. And yes, i think if pink floyd still existed, that's what they'd sound like. The music is brilliant, hard to describe, but certainly need to hear!
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on 8 October 2003
When I went to see the Sisters of Mercy in April, I was expecting another gloomy goth-rock band as the support act. What I got instead was Oceansize, whose epic songs build from chiming, music-box beginnings to thunderous conclusions. If I had to namedrop some musical peers, I would say Radiohead and Tool, but that only partially describes their sound. Their six members (including three guitarists) weave a complex, progressive sound without ever sounding stodgy or overwrought. The words too are emotional but uplifting.
I can however criticise this record slightly. Firstly, several tracks on offer here have been previously released on the band's previous EP's and singles. Selfish I know, but I would have preferred a full-length release of new material. Secondly, in my opinion the version of 'Catalyst' on this record is not as good as the version on the 'A Very Still Movement' EP (due to the absence of the previously mentioned music-box guitars). So, whilst I would personally knock down the rating, I have given the album 5 stars because it *is* excellent, and my criticisms would not be noticed by anyone who hasn't managed to track down their earlier EP releases.
This band are definately one to watch. 'Effloresce' is an astonishingly capable, inventive and mature first release, and I'm really looking forward to following this band and seeing what they're capable of.
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on 13 January 2004
I'm writing this review mainly because when i came to check this lp out a few months ago there were no customer reviews. im more of a rahdiohead/incubus/hiphop soul type person but decided to try out a cd that i hadn't heard. i finally bought this after christmas and was real impressed. 12 tracks of what has to be the most promising music ive heard in a long time. it's all the things a debut album should be. it has slower tracks fast tracks expansive tracks and depth that i haven't experienced since ok computer. the key points are that this shows promise and only really fails to gain 5 stars because of the structure of the album. the length at 75 mins may be a bit long and with tracks which last on average 7 mins (one track last near 10) may test some but after two listens time becomes insignificant. im expecting big things from there next album
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on 24 April 2004
I bought this album simply because my friend had mentioned it and I foundit dirt cheap in my local record store. Little did I know how great apurchase it really was. Right from the opening track, the instrumentalbeauty 'You Are The Morning', you can hear that this record is somethingspecial. I reckon it's basically OK Computer era Radiohead with some hugerock out guitar work added into the picture. Oceansize also shareRadiohead's passion for haunting melodies, as seen in one of the besttracks 'One Day All This Could Be Yours' as the title line is repeated inan eerie mantra fashion. And if you thought British music was drying upand running out of ideas, this album will prove you wrong. It is athoroughly enjoyable debut from a band who I predict big things for.
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