OCEANSIZE: EFFLORESCE (29/09/03 on Beggars Banquet Records)

(29/09/03 Beggars Banquet Records)

Liverpool bands such as The Coral, The Crescent and The Zutons are getting lots of attention with the talk of their being a cosmic scouse scene forming. Manchester is fighting back with bands like Haven, Nylon Pylon and putting a foot in the heavier side of music with Oceansize. Deep and dark instrumentals are the order of the days, with opener ‘I Am The Morning’ being a strong instrumental number that lifts the listener away to a darker place with a slow tingling piano and a sound similar to the of ‘Bridge And Tunnel’.

Music - Randi Russo: SOLAR BIPOLAR, out on Olive Juice records.

Blunt song titles such as; ‘Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs’ and ‘Massive Bereavement’ indicate the mood of the album. The latter song has more of a metal edge to it than anything and is a nine minute marathon of crisp guitars, after a slow eerie Slipknot style build up. The track ends in a crescendo of crashing guitars and high pitched vocals featuring angry repetitive lyrics:

“Is this not what you expected?”

The album slows down with a tuneful and instrumentally upbeat ‘You Wish’ being a highlight. Oceansize create a sound that is quite difficult to pin down think the instrumentals of The Cooper Temple Clause, The Blood Brothers and Staind mixed with the vocals of Chad Kroegger mixed with Eddie Vedder and Sigur Ros and type lyrics. ‘Effloresce’ is promising if a little bleak offering, it is not one to put on if you are in a life loving mood, with irony being dealt out in songs like ‘Amputee’ more frequently than in a Shakesperian comedy:

‘Hip, hip hooray we lose again.’

There is sincerity prevalent in Oceansize’s music and lyrics, which makes a refreshing change from the forced commercial melancholy of so many bands out there today.

David Adair

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