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Oceansize - Everyone Into Position CD (album) cover

EVERYONE INTO POSITION

Oceansize

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.05 | 293 ratings

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The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Oceansize's second album 'Everything into Position' did more than just reassure their fans that they didn't want to rely on the success of first album 'Effloresce'. The Manchester quintet have grown and matured as a band, creating an album which has expanded their musical horizons as well as creating an unsuspecting fan base along the way. As 4th track 'Meredith' appeared in the US TV show 'The OC'.

The strength and depth of this album is a clear step up from their debut. The band appears tighter and the songs feel more structured and better developed. The album can be split into two halves with a soft side and a heavy side. The soft side will take you to relaxing and peaceful place, like a January detox. The heavy side on the other hand will make you want to pick up an air guitar and thrash it until your arms are so sore you can't play another note. One thing that is for sure though is that this is great progressive rock music and although they've still got a bit to go before they can reach the accolades of current progressive rock heavyweights Porcupine Tree and The Mars Volta; if they keep up this kind of standard, it won't be long till they are joining them.

The soft side of the album, in my opinion displays their best work to date with the 2 stand out tracks of the album; 'Music for a Nurse' and 'Ornament/Last Wrongs'. Now you may not realise this but 'Music for a Nurse' was used as part of the Orange mobile network provider's advertising campaign on TV. Although it is a good taster of the track, it really does not give this 8 minute plus epic its true glory it so rightfully deserves. There is something about this song. The musical backdrop is one in which many post rock acts would aspire to make. It is the slow pace of the song which creates such a massive and sweeping sound. Add to this Vermont's glorious vocals and it just makes the song complete. 'Music for a Nurse' is a fitting title for the track too as it would be the perfect track for a nurse to sit back and unwind too after a stressful or busy day at the hospital as it is very relaxing and easy on the ears. For me, this song makes the album so special. Due to its length it was never going to get the radio airplay it deserved which shows the problem with radio rather than with Oceansize. Hopefully one day this song will be fully appreciated, but in reality that will be the day that people who work in radio realise people want to hear songs more than 4 minutes long.

The other epic track on the soft side of 'Everyone into Position' is album closer 'Ornament/Last Wrongs'. The dual track is a magical way to finish an album. The track opens with a gentle slow moving riff where silence is used after each movement. The song slowly builds up until Vermont and the other band members do the 'ah ah ah' bit followed by a much heavier riff. Probably not the best description of it, but once you hear it will make sense. The track then has a great crossover link as the song turns into 'The Last Wrongs' as other band members join Vermont on vocal duty in a choir type effect setting off with 'Signs the Signs invisible'. Once again the track starts off slowly then builds up to a crashing climax as Vermont cranks up the vocals with 'And yours is to just sustain'. This is one of the best endings to an album I have heard to an album in a long time. From album opener 'Charm Offensive' right through to this song and 'I am the Morning' and 'Long Forgotten' from 'Effloresce'; it is clear that Oceansize pay particular attention to the beginning and endings of an album as if the tracks are made with the positioning in mind. While many bands will argue over track order it as if Oceansize's pre- planning make this task the easiest of them all.

As you can see from 'Music for a Nurse', it is not just the beginning and ending of this album that makes it great but they also have great variety in between. The highlights of the heavier side of the album are 'Heaven Alive' and 'Homage to a Shame'. What I love the most about Oceansize's rockier songs is that not only do they try not to cram them down to three minutes and let the song expand naturally but Vermont's vocals are upped a notch while still being in his range where as other singers would lose control over some of the notes. Vermont is clearly in control as he blasts out 'This release inside of me, Is like my heaven calling' on 'Heaven Alive'. On 'Homage to a Shame' it is the great guitar work which takes centre stage as the quiet loud technique is used to great effect and the loud bits make it easily the heaviest track on the album. For me the technique makes the impact on the listener even greater. If you listen carefully through earphones you can also hear whispering on certain parts of the track which adds a nice touch as well as depth to the track along with the screaming towards the end of the track which acts as a great climax.

Overall this is a fantastic follow up album. They have a bit of a way to go before cementing their place amongst the great prog bands but if they continue to make albums like this surely it won't be long. From a selfish point of view though I just want this band to stay small as seeing them in smaller venues is a mesmerising experience. But wherever you go to see them you can be safe in the knowledge that the person standing next to you has a great taste in music.

The Rain Man | 5/5 |

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