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Oceansize - Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.64 | 183 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars All's well that ends decently, I guess.

Oceansize's first three albums are pretty well balanced as far as sound goes. Their unique blend of ambient shoegaze interspersed with heavy interludes and breakdowns was a nice niche as far as modern British prog rock outfits go, and their final album here isn't bad here. The only difference is that this album just isn't as cohesive as the others.

"Part Cardiac", the intro song, is rather obnoxious. It's loud from beginning to end, it doesn't change at all, and there's a certain frequency being played that irritates my ears. It's literally unlistenable, otherwise I feel like I'm getting tinnitus just from listening to it. "Superimposer" feels like a bit of a nod to early 90's emo groups like American Football and Mineral, but it still just seems a bit too loud. Even "Build Us A Rocket Then" would be a great technical song if it were mixed just a bit softer.

"Oscar Acceptance Speech" feels a bit more like classic Oceansize; lengthy, dramatic, soft atmospheres with heavy droning, while "Ransoms" is a nice ballad interlude of sorts, although "A Penny's Weight" is just as soft and cushy. Two songs in stark contrast from the first few.

"Silent/Transparent" also begins with a very American Football-esque sound, until the drama increases and builds like a classic post-rock track (think Explosions in the Sky), slowly building from soft to loud, while "It's my Tail and I'll Chase It If I Want To" is a bit more schizophrenic. "Pine" is a pleasant, almost catchy tune, while "Superimposter" and "Cloak" end the album from mellower to mellowest.

All around, apart from "Part Cardiac", the rest of the album is just fine. There aren't any real standouts or memorable tracks, but they're all fine on rotation. The biggest problem is the lack of cohesion and track listing. Loud and soft tracks are bunched together and few songs on the album balance both like previous albums. It seems like a classic example of band members trying to write in different directions in the same song, which could make sense why the band broke up.

It's a shame, really, but Oceansize made some good tunes throughout its brief career. Just a shame their last album ended with a whimper instead of a bang.

Wicket | 3/5 |


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