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Despite it's naff name, Ocean Colour Scene delivered a respectable seventh studio album with 2005's 'A Hyperactive Workout for the Flying Squad', which was the first not to feature the band's original bass player, Damon Minchella, who had left in 2003.

Whilst it isn't on par with their previous classic albums like 'Moseley Shoals' or 'Marchin' Already', this is still a record which will please long-term fans of the band who had found themselves back on the scene with a rather rejuvenated sound, which was both exciting and contemporary, with their trademark influences from the past still present.

The Sixties-isque 'Free My Name', a simple song about how it feels to be in love is a great uptempo number which was issued as the album's lead single, and the second, 'The Day Should Last Forever' is an equally catchy, hand-clapping, folksy little tune. As good as these two songs are, they aren't among my favourites. That list consists of 'Waving Not Driving', which has Paul Weller on guitar and Jools Holland on piano, 'Drive Away', and the dreamy, heart-felt ballad 'Another Time to Stay'.

There's a bit of unexpected experimentation on the final track, 'My Time', which has a reggae feel, and is a nice way to close things out. The boys from Birmingham even tackled a song by the great George Harrison with 'Wah Wah', which remains too close to the original for me to consider it anything less than pointless, and provides a rare moment of substandard, along with the dreary and cliché ballad 'I Love You'.

A mixture of trademark foot-stomping rockers and irresistible ballads, leaving behind a combination which works very well, 'A Hyperactive Workout for the Flying Squad' is another great album from this band who remain sadly underappreciated. If you're a newbie, this is not the place to start, but if you're a long-term fan, then you'll find plentiful highlights on here.
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on 6 August 2005
This is an excellent piece of work by the lads. I'm agree that is not as brilliant as the North Atlantic Drift but they did a great collection of tunes to deserve the title of MUSIC GENIUS. Let me just add that DRIVE AWAY is one of the best songs I've ever heard, alongside "free my name" and "move things over". Also "this day should last forever" can put you in a great mood instantly.
If you know about music, you should buy this one.
I would buy it just to have DRIVE AWAY everyday!!!!!!!!!!!!
OCS is the best band around!
Don't tell me anything about f***** Coldplay!!!!!
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on 14 February 2006
Some people will wonder where ocean colour scene have been for the last few years, the simple answer is that they never left and either has their brilliant ability to marry heartfelt lyrics with sublime melodies and foot stomping tunes. This album starts as everyone hopes it does a rocking good riff accompanied by willingness to just jump on your scooter and drive around town. "Free my name" is possibly one of the best songs OCS have written in there existence and the fact it recieved so much airplay despite a lack of promotion is testament to this. Covers they say have to be bettered or equalled and OCS do this in fine style with Wah Wah. What follows next are a pair of emotive songs which if which stand on a par with the greats of our past. This day should last for ever is a folk masterpiece which is as uplifting as it is catchy. The rest of the album continues in a similar vein and it cannot be questioned that this album is truely brilliant. A surprise maybe for some but not for their legions of fans who no truly that Mods Rule!
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on 23 February 2005
This is a gem of an album. Ocean Colour Scene seem to be moving up and up at the moment, with this record sounding extremely fresh from a band who are supposedly 'rubbish' according to many critics. If this gets ignored I'll be hugely disappointed as it's simply great music. Stand out tracks are 'Drive Away', the single 'Free My Name' and the jaunty 'This Day Should Last Forever' which I just can't stop singing (which is always a good sign).
I think critics lost sight of OCS because they became big during the Britpop phase when they WEREN'T really Britpop at all. 'The Riverboat Song' is the only song that people really heard, and this is massively due to the riff of it being played on TFI Friday every week. Because they didn't just rewrite this song over and over they were snubbed, and very wrongly. This album and their last, North Atlantic Drift, have been fantastic. People don't know what they're missing!
Whole-heartedly recommended!
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on 19 February 2005
The first thing that struck me after listening to the album, is how on earth will the critics find negatives about the album, its hard to see where or how... though I am sure they will

The OCS sound has slightly changed in places, yet in others its still there, the ocs that we love... or some of us hate. Drive Away is a classic song, So is the opener, typical Ocean Colour Scene, then we have something new.. apart from the 3 covers, we have Gods World and Move Things Over, the latter is one that I know will grow, and has grown on first listen, a beautiful sound which is placed perfectly on the album.

Free My Name the new single doesn't let us down, apart from it ends too soon, This Day Should Last Forever shows of Simons love for folk music, and it will have you singing along to the chorus.

The only weak track on the album seems to be I Love You, Simons vocals doesn't seem to suit the song, which is a shame.. maybe it will grow on me in time.

Waving Not Drowning is another lovely song with jools Holland adding a talented touch to it, it slides through with great lyrics, and its good to see Steve have play about again on the guitar at the end

Another Time To Stay is probably my favoured on the album, sure to be a single, a more mellowed ocean colour scene sound yet there roots still show through, true amamzing vocals and well arranged and produced.

The album ends with Oscar, which is strange to listen to, its like a bonus track put onto the album by another band, but its lovely, and we have to wonder why its taken ocs fans over 15 years to hear his voice, lets hope we hear it again too

The Other Two Covers Wah Wah and Start Of The Day fit in perfectly to the ocs sound, I've not heard the original of the latter, but its got a heart throbbing chorus, Simon suits the song to the tee. Wah Wah is brilliant. Have you got the right is beautiful

and so is this album

I want to give it 9 out of 10, but its out of 5.. so I'll give it 5 out of 5 to round things up

ocean colour scene are back?

they where never gone
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on 9 June 2005
First of all I'd like to start by saying that Ocean Colour Scene are one of the most under-rated bands ever. Why no-one can see that they produce one of the most original sounds of the last decade is beyond me. I had previously bought the anthology and 'Live on the Riverboat'. I did not see many copies of this in the shops and thankfully Amazon had it. It has a great liquid case as well, anyway.
With the perculiar album title aside, this is one of the best OCS albums there is. I was lucky enough to see them live a couple of months back, just as the album had been released and they played 'Drive Away'. In my opinion, the best song that OCS have written. The musical content has changed very little, although maybe a little more emotional direction with the lyrics has allowed the music to mould around this. The introduction to 'Everything Comes at the Right Time' reminds you of the classic 'Riverboat Song' or 'Hundred Mile High City' whereas 'This Day Should Last Forever' take you back to tracks on 'North Atlantic Drift'. If you're an avid OCS fan, buy this album. If you're not, buy this album. OCS deserve to be put on the same stage as U2 or the Stones
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on 5 September 2006
Why do they bother? It can't be the commercial acclaim or the reviews. But here they are again with an album that shows no sign of a radical new direction....

OCS show once again their songwriting mettle and commitment to a particular sound. Whereas the opening track is weaker than the opener of 2003's "North Atlantic Drift", as an album "A Hyperactive Workout..." is much stronger.

"Free My Name" is an excellent track which deserved much more attention than it got when released as a single. "God's World" has a tight funk-rock feel to it and is ably assisted by Carleen Anderson. "Waving Not Drowning" is a pleasant enough tune. "Drive Away" is strangely affecting although doesn't necessarily travel anywhere. "This Day Could Last Forever" is a Faces re-tread but is decent and memorable.

"Move Things Over" is a smoky and distracting tune that eases along with a smoothness not normally associated with this band.

The cover tunes, however, are no great shakes. "Wah Wah" is a carbon-copy-cover, the Real People cover is bluster but the closer cover of Bob Andy's "My Time", with drummer Oscar Harrison on vocals - is one of the album's surprise highlights.

A worthy effort. Miles better than Oasis' effort from the same year.
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on 3 April 2005
Like the good wines, Ocean Colour Scene is back with a great album. Maybe its title is a bit rare if we take a look to their past records, but that's something that I will not discuss. Now as a trio and with the collaboration of Dave Eringa as a producer (Manic Street Preachers, Starsailor, Ash), this band bring a good collection of songs. "Free My Name" is the first single. It has a sound and an arrangement very "Motown", going in the same line as thier past single "Make The Deal".
"Drive Away" is a great song, it passed unnoticed for me at first listening, but it's a real jewel, not only of this album. It reminded me another great song: "One" by U2, maybe it was its mood, maybe it was its sound. Anyway, this record has also some good covers. "Wah Wah" (George Harrison) sounds revitalized, not different to the original. "Start Of The Day" caught me since I heard it as a clip on the group's offcial website. It's a cover too, and even when I haven't heard the original, this is a good song. And in the final track "My Time", Oscar Harrison (Drums) makes his debut as a lead singer in an OCS record, and he does it very well.
In "Waving Not Drowning" the band has some special guests: Paul Weller & Jools Holland. And the result is a quite good acoustic song, it has it all: guitar, piano, harmonica...with an style very Rolling Stones (Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers) in its sound.
The classic rock-and-roll song from the band is "Everything Comes At The Right Time", the opener. A good guitar riff from Steve Cradock, very "sticky" this song, if you take my meaning. Just as "sticky" as "The Day Should Last Forever" with a great fiddle arrangment. A "good mood" song this one. And the whole album is a well done work. Maybe the weakest point of it could be "I Love You", a song that some of us knew when the band released "Live: One For The Road" last year. Maybe it's not the kind of song that fits Simon Fowler singing as well as others.
But, as a review I want to say this: it's simply a great record from a band, very under-rated and it's a good chance for them to get back to the spotlights. Buying it will not dissapoint you, I bet you wont be dissapointed...believe me.
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on 4 March 2005
Great songs, great production and absolutely no effort to fit in with what everyone else is putting out at the moment.
Songs you can sing along to are a bit short on the ground at the moment. Ocean colour Scene have got them coming out of their ears.
This album is full of them. It's feelgood music, it puts a smile on your face.
Owning this album will light up your life.
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on 21 November 2009
Ocean Colour Scene have a knack for doing things no other band would think of. And this is the record where they get it so right.

The opener, Everything Comes At The Right Time, kicks along with great pace and attitude, but it's the subtle touches which make it. The way the guitar chops in on the phrase "cut my home", and the falsetto back up harmony on the final line "play with love, and it's playing with me", are nothing short of cool.

The single, Free My Name, is the most epic song they've ever recorded. It soars with an inspired atmosphere and the sound of a full orchestra. One you'll replay and never get bored with.

You then have so much more to come. The jazzy Move Things Over has a beautiful clean sound, and God's World is strange, funky and polished. These Days Should Last Forever isn't the most original song ever written, but the recording is absolutely perfect - vibrant with mandolins, violins and great harmonies.

I Love You is bland due to the echo chamber arrangement. The live version on the One For The Road album is better, especially the vocals in the middle eight. But I'd never mark an album down for the odd weak song.

The best track by far is Another Time To Stay. It's a ballad but far from boring, changing pace and using strings as they should be used. Thick with atmosphere and emotion, it's something a lot of bands can't touch. A gorgeous tune, rich sound and unique vibe.

Unlike other reviewers, I love both the album title and the montage front cover artwork. It makes me smile and reflects the diversity and sense of carefree fun of three musicians jamming in a country house with some cool mates dropping in (Paul Weller, Jools Holland, John McCusker, Carleen Anderson). There are even some well chosen cover tunes thrown in, giving the feeling of a performance. It's feelgood and inspired - I highly recommend it.
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