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Ozric Tentacles - Jurassic Shift CD (album) cover


Ozric Tentacles


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.09 | 402 ratings

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4 stars UNDER REVISION (posted 05/08/07)

It was rather a long time ago when I got Strangeitude by the Ozric Tentacles, which served a nice introduction, though I didn't feel that it was truly special. I wasn't sure I wanted to delve any further, and indeed, they nearly disappeared from my prog horizons until very recently, when I randomly thought of this album and decided I'd like to try it and see if I was missing anything. I got it, and found myself in for quite a pleasant surprise. This album is only the second Ozric Tentacles experience I've had, but this time, I'm sure it won't be the last.

This album is very similar to Strangeitude, only better in all facets. It still feels like Middle Eastern Hard New Age Acid Space Fusion Techno Rock at its core (and what a strange and yet oddly satisfying core this is), but, on Jurassic Shift, the Ozrics take the ideas of Strangeitude to a whole new level. The flute work is absolutely insane, somewhere between Jethro Tull and early Kraftwerk. The guitar, with its amazing acid laced riffs that appear every so often, never fails to captivate. And there is simply not enough to say about the drums, which truly carry this entire album. They are constantly engaging, never letting up for even the tiniest moment. At times on this album you have to wonder if some Post-Rock bands took a lesson from the Ozric Tentacles, as the amazing way they build up to climaxes is a marvel to behold, especially on songs like Feng Shui and Jurassic Shift, which are, not altogether surprisingly, my two favorites on the album.

The Ozric Tentacles are legends of the UK underground, and with an album like this, it's not hard to see why. It's certainly progressive, inventive, and innovative. It is also prog, meaning that it has plenty of tendencies found in other bands on this site and that group together this vast style of music we all love. Their immense blend of different styles constantly keeps the listener on his (or her) toes, never allowing for a moment of boredom. The soundscapes on all the tracks are delightful, whether they be long or short. The music is fairly accessible. This doesn't mean that it's anything at all "sell out-ish," only that it's not hard to dive into and love at first listen. The songs themselves are all fairly similar, enough to create a sense of continuity across the album (and indeed, across the entire Ozric Tentacles discography, based on my two album experience and on other reviews of their albums), and yet different enough to prevent any sense of monotony from invading this album.

The songs range from soft (but still fast paced) to absolutely blazing. Sun Hair, the opener, for instance, is a relatively mellow ride (though the acid guitar is simply phenomenal) that introduces us to the album. This track could have come straight off of Strangeitude, in fact. From the opening moments of the next song, Stretchy, however, we are subjected to an energetic, fast paced assault. Other songs, like Feng Shui and Jurassic Shift, manage to combine both, with some softer sections that eventually build into stunning climaxes. And, one final note about this album, it truly holds dearly to its ideal of never letting the listener go, as the closer, Vita Voom, is perhaps the fastest, most in your face track on the entire album.

All in all, this is one of my favorite psychedelic/space rock albums, and a masterpiece of the genre by all counts. This is an album I will always cherish dearly, and one you ought to rush to buy, that it may grace your ears as it has graced mine. I said earlier that the Ozric Tentacles were UK underground legends, and I can only repeat that that must surely be largely a result of this album. Jurassic Shift is an album that will, in ten to twenty years, be regarded as a classic psychedelic album. It's much more than that, however. It's an all around classic, no matter what genre.

Pnoom! | 4/5 |


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