Effloresce Review

artist: Oceansize date: 10/23/2006 category: compact discs
Oceansize: Effloresce
Release Date: Sep 29, 2003
Label: Beggar's Banquet
Genres: Post-Grunge, Indie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 12
the title aptly suggests, Effloresce bursts forth with feverish punk edges and ethereal electronics for an aggressive guitar storm.
 Sound: 9.7
 Lyrics: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.7
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reviews (3) 2 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Effloresce Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 22, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Oceansize sound could be decribed as 'Mogwai' meets 'Tool', quiet melodies swirl around, loop over, overlap and erupt into towering riffs. This album is teeming with gorgeous melodies (the closing three tracks, which clock in at about 9mins a piece, are a case study is melodic guitar work) but as good as they are at this, you tell that this bands real strengh is in being loud, and heavy. Opening track 'Catalyst' feature a wonderfully huge grinding riff, this leads into the brilliant 'One day all this could be yours' which is one of there flagship songs, a quiet motif riff, builds for about 3 mins before they hit you with a terrific flange-soaked twisted riff. This isn't just good guitar work, the drumming is also very good, absolutely solid rhythm work. The vocal style of Mike Vernart (I think the spelling is right) really fits the music, subtle and restrained when he needs to be, but also a good alt-scream not like emo/metal though. I think mike once in a interview said that he was a fan of Maynard of Tool, and so looked towards that for inspiration. I can't really reccommend this band enough, if your a fan of 'epic' and I do mean truly 'epic-absolutly huge, expansive guitar work' you must hear this band/album. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are ace, when the audible, sometimes Mike's vocals are so subtle or slurred (whatever you want to call it) that is hard to make out. Some of the song themes include 'loving someone with one arm' to quote the band themselves (Amputee). The wonderfully titled 'Women who love men who love drugs' just has those are the lyrics. 'Remember where you are' carries the theme of knowing when 'your fifteen minutes are up' "a single bit of cherry for you". This albums has some really strong hooks. // 9

Overall Impression: This is easily one of my favorite albums. Its a huge record (79mins) and huge sounding. Its bizarre that this band aren't alot more well known. This came out in the UK in 2003, and to high critical praise, they've had a second album 'Everyone into position' (which is even better) and again it came out to good reviews. But alas, this band are still very 'underground', in Britain at least. If your a fan of prog/alt-rock/post-rock you should check out this band. Tool, Muse, Mogwai, Amplifier, Cave-in, that sort of thing. Oh and if you ever get the opportunity to hear them live, you have to see them. there breathtaking. // 10

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overall: 9
Effloresce Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 27, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I came across Oceansize as the support act for Porcupine Tree and was very impressed. This is their debut album and they released a second album this year entitled Everybody Into Position. This particular album is an impressive piece of work. It fits into a similar genre of music as Porcupine Tree or Katatonia and you can tell they're influenced by similar bands. Essentially I suppose it would get lumped into the 'prog-rock/alt-metal' category, and as with many bands who get labelled in this way, they have a pretty unique sound. Oceansize have 3 guitarists which gives them the freedom to experiment with layers of sound and play them off against each other, and as such many of the tracks here are dynamically interesting and intense. Catalyst, one of the stand-out tracks and my personal favourite, makes use of this with a jumpy intro and dual riffs with a clean guitar melody played over the top, it makes for an interesting listen. And the 9-minute track Massive Bereavement also demonstrates several different styles. It's quite a disjointed track, skipping from clean and melodic parts to all-out triple guitar distorted riffs. All in all, the album has a real power behind it all the way through, even the more melodic tracks maintain an intensity about them which keeps you listening. I'm impressed by the sound of this, especially since it was their debut full-length album and it's deserving of a 9/10. My only minor complaint is that occasionally you can't really hear the bassist at all or the heaviness of the riffs drowns out the clean melodic leads, this would have bene overcome in the production of the album by a more experienced band but since this was their debut album, that's to be expected now and then. The fact that despite that small issue it's still very well produced and sounds pretty much great throughout is enough to warrant a high score. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics aren't given with the album sleeve but most of them can be worked out. On the whole the lyrics are decent, but more often it's the music which keeps you listening. The vocalist is, however, very versatile. He has a strong melodic voice (which sounds great when complimented with the backing vocals) and can get some good power behind it for the heavier or more aggressive parts of the songs. So hsi performance on this can't really be faulted. One thing I did like is the almost robotic and automated-sounding drone on 'One Day All This Could Be Yours'. It sounds very different but really holds the song together well. This might be their debut but this guy knows how to use his voice to good effect, he sounds like he's been doing it for years. // 9

Overall Impression: This album isn't perhaps as complex or thought provoking as other bands of this genre but is a sign of great things to come from a pretty new band. There seems to be emphasis on simple-but-effective and using many layers of sound to give that diversity and texture to the music which keeps it interesting and fresh. In my opinion the most impressive tracks would be Catalyst, Massive Bereavement and Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs, and all three are solid demonstrations of the band's various talents and styles of songwriting and playing, but after a few listens you lose the impression of them being stand-out tracks and really appreciate it as a solid album throughout. // 9

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overall: 10
Effloresce Reviewed by: A music fan, on october 23, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ok, this is quite embarrassing, but yes, I discovered Oceansize on MySpace. After listening to a few songs I decided that this band was my kind of thing. So I decided to get this CD. Oceansize's sound is quite different to the new bands that have appeared lately. They combine beautiful ambient music with spacey guitar rock. With 3 guitarists, there sound is absolutely outstanding. The record starts off with a spacey sounding instrumental, "I am The Morning," which is a very relaxing way to start the album. After a few minutes the first proper song begins. "Catalyst" is a great song with an awesome riff played between 2 guitars, while a third one plays a completely different riff which really gives the track an "edge." "One Day This Could All Be Yours" has got to be one of my favourite songs by Oceansize. The intro begins with a chimey guitar playing a few simple notes. The bass then kicks in with a great riff. A guitar does a few bends on 2 notes, and a spacey guitar riff comes in afterwards. The vocals a dreamy, and the lyrics are dark. It does sound very unique, and that's why I believe that this is the best track on the album. Compared to other songs on the album, it's not very complicated. Not only is the guitar work great on this album, the drumming is also very articulate. There aren't really any proper guitar solos, but the playing is still very complex there a loads of riffs which fit perfectly with each other. A lot of guitar effects are used (it is progressive duh.) Most of the tracks on the album are quite long, like traditional progressive songs. The last tracks on the album are near to 9 minutes each. // 10

Lyrics: Mike Vennart's lyrics are not straight forward, and it's not always easy to know what the songs mean. This complexity makes the album even more interesting to listen to. For example, in "Amputee", he sings "Oh you could be, and amputee, wouldn't matter all that much, wouldn't mean a thing to me," without explicitly singing the word "love", you know that is what the song is about. Vennart combines many different styles of singing. He can sing quite softly in songs like "Long Forgotten" and "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs", but he can also scream in songs like "Catalyst" and "You Wish." This adds an interesting variety to the album. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, this is probably one of the strongest debut albums of the 21st Century, and is greatly underrated. There is something here for everyone, ambient, dreamy songs and spacey, rockier riffs. Highlights include "Catalyst", "One Day All This Could Be Yours", "Massive Bereavement", "You Wish", "Amputee" and "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs." If someone stole this off me I would find the culprit and beat him senseless. // 10

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