Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Ovals - Inner Space CD (album) cover


The Ovals


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.61 | 8 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars "Inner Space" by The Ovals is a spacey trippy release with some innovative ideas bordering on early Pink Floyd influences and Hawkwind.

The Australian band The Ovals hail from the new psychedelic wave where the music becomes part of the consciousness. The lyrics are fairly much based on ideas of entering planetary or cosmic levels of existence. Perhaps there are science fiction elements hidden in the music such as 'Room with a View' with a title reminding me of the fascinating puzzle at the ending of '2001: A Space Odyssey'. I love the whole atmosphere on this album which is very spacey and psychedelic. Each song offers a trippy journey that centres around lengthy instrumentation and acid rock psych prog influences.

'Mars' has a wonderful retro Hammond sound and a strong upbeat tempo, reminding me of The Doors and there are some eclectic musical passages with very pleasant harmonised vocals; "we must face a whole new dawn, hope lies in the sun, we must travel very far". There is a vocal effect that sounds like mission control Nasa overseeing a space mission. The lyrics and swooshing effects confirm the outer space theme; "I can see the earth so far away."

'Elements Outside My Control' is a long song on this album at just over 7 minutes. It is driven with a moderate tempo, a very cool bassline and synth swirls, jazz hi hat cymbal work and spaced out guitar licks. The staccato blasts of power organ are simply excellent musicianship. The track is compelling and really grows on you. The instrumental section fades down and an ethereal atmosphere settles in, reminding me of the stark cold synth lines of Gary Numan's music, and that is a delight to my ears. The jazzy percussion is accompanied by layer upon layer of ambient key pads, a Pink Floyd style guitar solo and a consistent pulsating bass. The music is very relaxing, and yet never dull. The space effects of descending squiggles, Hawkwind style swirls and a rock beat make a fabulous combination. It takes till 5:20 before the vocals come in. The lyrics are a bit like Hawkwind or Diagonal; "feeling happy feeling blue, this is cosmic deja vu, in a place and we're in space," and then we have a delightful end with a strong melody.

'Always' begins with a solid punctuated organ motif after an effect of someone running to somewhere. The science fiction sounds soon come in and a rather pretty melody. The lyrics are as estranged as before and have a strong rhyme and are repeated over and over, words such as 'Subsistence' are rhymed with 'existence'. The tempo picks up pace with a marching beat and some layered synthesizers. The melody is infectious and once again like the 60s sound of The Doors. The retro sound that the band generates is simply a delight.

'Room With A View' has a strong melody that motorvates along with very bold synthlines and a potent lyric; "we're going away for a while, we're leaving you with a room with a view, we're going away for a while, but don't do anything to start a fire". The instrumental break continues for a lengthy time and features spacey synths and a bass heart beat, with sporadic drum patterns. At 4 minutes the song completely settles into a dreamy slow pace and a trippy vocal; "and the hour of consciousness, the meaning is in my head." The violining guitar is simply wonderful and then the effect of a Nasa rocket lifting off with voices stating that "it looks good so far rising into the clear blue Florida sky."

The 'Secret Track' is a 7 minute curiosity and when I first heard it I disliked it as it was a real off kilter experimental piece with a lot of repetition. But when I realised it was a ghost track I was more forgiving as it is really just a bonus addition as all secret tracks are. There are some seagull effects and a rather pleasant guitar picking passage.

Overall my first experience with The Ovals has been a delight. I loved the spaceyness of the music and the no compromise psychedelic approach to the music. The songs are well sung and have a compelling structure. I would have liked the EP to go longer and have more innovative instrumental sections. In essence it is certainly a release that I have never tired of after 5 listens and I believe it is a sound worth returning to often.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this THE OVALS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives