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.
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.
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.
on 2 August 2004
I heard about this band when they were first getting airplay on xFm's 'The Rock Show', hosted by Ian Camfield. I loved their stuff (around the time of their first couple of EPs), and checked them out. Now they've released their album using a lot of their old stuff (differently produced), and goddamn, does it rule.
Comparisons to Radiohead, Mogwai, Mono even are obvious, yet Oceansize still manage to sound completely fresh and unique in their own ways. The album is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish, starting light with 'I am the morning', a relaxing instrumental that fades into the instant classic 'Catalyst'. This track is brilliant, crushing guitars with equally brilliant lighter sections, setting the mood for the rest of the album. The next track is equally good, entitled 'One Day All This Could be Yours', sounding a lot heavier than the rest of the tracks on the album, but the riffs are driving and crushing, the bass is killer, the drums are spot on, and the singing is exquisite - much like the rest of the album. As the tracks carry on, you're taken on a relaxing, yet brutal trip through Oceansize's musical influences - and it all fits so well.
If you're into Alternative, Hard Rock, Progressive stuff, you'll love this album. Beware though, basically all of the tracks hit the 5+ minute mark easily, so if you're not prepared to for 10minutes for some of the tracks (You should, though), tread carefully. Download some samples, and investigate. But I highly recommend this album, it's definitely worth listening to.
on 14 March 2005
Having first heared the clean guitar melodies of 'Catalyst' I though that I was listening to Radiohead's 'OK Computer', not in a way that I thought ripped them off, but with a fondness of how much I loved that part of RH's career. 'Effloresce' is interesting. Much like The Cure, the songs are long but they keep your attention. Influencies here include Muse, Tool, not to mention Radiohead (not exclusively!), however the music that diseminates is wholy unique. Raging bass lines and guitar complemented by quiet contemplation. Anyone complaining that Effloresce is too long obviously didn't appreciate earlier EP's (Relapse - Amputee, One Day All This Will Be Yours - Massive Bereavement) and should listen again! 'Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs' opens quitely, climaxing with a bass line to die for before coming down again without the listener even noticing, 'Catalyst' is a classic that belongs on everyone's favourite top twenty and One Day All This Will Be Yours has a trippy beat reminiscent of Manchester at it's peak. In a time when Emo is prominent, it's nice to know that Oceansize are around, hopefully to stay. Nice one guys.
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
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
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!
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!
BUY THIS RECORD
on 8 February 2006
I usually write long reviews, but not this one because I'm almost at a loss for words after being confronted with music as original as this. Full of atmospheric soundscapes, the album presents interesting time-signatures and changes of tempo, walls of sound and gentler moments.
"Catalyst" excites from its very opening with its catchy rhythm and explosive guitars. Amateur bands find it difficult to successfully create songs with more unusual rhythms but it seems absolutely effortless with "Awesomesize" as I've seen them called.
"One Day All This Could Be Yours" is a shift into different territory with its pounding bass and mysterious, gurgling vocals. Its climax is close to punishing in its power and the darkness of the song becomes more apparent as it progresses. For darker people, this would make excellent baby-making music, the way it grooves and slithers is quite appropriate imho.
As the album progresses, there appear more lengthy songs, which may deter some (and is why I've given the album 4 stars. I would have liked to have given it 4&1/2 but that wasn't possible).
With the last track, Oceansize do what they did with "The Last Wrongs" on E.I.P; i.e. they create the feeling of having reached a significant destination after conquering all foes in their way on the journey. These aforementioned are my personal favourites so far on the album but the entirety of the album is vastly worthy of attention for all those with a liking for atmosphere, ingenuity and variety, guitars, bass, drums and effects!