Released: 2010, Superball Music
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
So color me ignorant. Oceansize are a five piece from Manchester, UK and have apparently a decade of history and three albums already behind them. Their latest album, SELF PRESERVED WHILE THE BODIES FLOAT UP, is touted as being a more “mature” and “concise” capture of the band, but as I don’t have anything to compare it to, I won’t. But I will say, that this new album is “the stuff” and if you’re in the mood for something a little different, you’d be wise to check it out.
While they certainly have their own unique blend of alternative heaviness, the band sounds like a bastard hybrid of Therapy?, Deftones, and maybe a little Coheed and Cambria thrown in for good measure. I’ll go one more, throughout my numerous listens to SELF PRESERVED…, I was consistently reminded of Voivod’s misunderstood masterpiece, ANGEL RAT. SELF PRESERVED…swoons from obtuse, dense riffs as in the album opener, “Part Cardiac” to delightfully catchy and melodic as in “Superimposed” and “Build Us a Rocket Then…” You’ve got two examples of very different faces of the band, but they never sounds out of step with each other.
“Oscar Acceptance Speech” sounds too much like an edgier version of Coldplay (puh-lease), but the diversity of the trippy “A Penny’s Weight” and the frantic “It’s My Tail and I’ll Chase if I Want to” more than makes up for any sappy radio friendly moments. The album trails out on the mellow tails of “Pine” and “Superimposter,” both of which are great songs with dreamy soundscapes, but it feels a little anticlimactic after such a powerful opening. Nitpicking aside, the ten tracks on the album each have their own identities and are presented as separate chapters within the same book – all different narratives, but all part of the same overall storyline.
There’s definitely some metal moments on SELF PRESERVED…but I wouldn’t go so far as to call this a metal album, but it’s heavy in its own field of existence. Oceansize blur a variety of genre lines, which works to the advantage of the band’s chameleon like sound and in the process makes for an original end result. SELF PRESERVED WHILE THE BODIES FLOAT UP is a welcomed entry from a band that I’m eager to hear more of. The album is available through iTunes, Amazon and other media outlets.