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Oceansize - Everyone Into Position CD (album) cover

EVERYONE INTO POSITION

Oceansize

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.02 | 225 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Wicket
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Hurricanes suck. Plain and simple.

Don't think I'm obliged to say that coming from a northern Jersey boy. We don't get hurricanes or earthquakes or tornadoes.

Luckily I've been spared a bit power-wise to write a review on this album, which seems just like the perfect hurricane weather album; starts off soft, ends hard with a bang, kinda like...well.....off topic for a second there.

It's a bit of a shame this band is in the wrong genre, though, but nonetheless "Everyone Into Position" is an impressive album.

This Neo-Prog band burst onto the scene (whatever scene was big in Manchester at the time) with their debut "Effloresce". While the record is certainly a good listen, it felt like, to me, some parts were moody and dark, a bit haunting in some places whereas in others a hard rock sound would come bursting through. It sort of sounded like a musical concoction in a blender....that wasn't really blended in well.

Here, the quintet from England seem to have broadened their horizons, but also smooth out the details from the previous record into this 2005 release. Starting off from "The Charm Offensive", the first thing ears are greeted with is the slow sound of post-rock, commonplace on their previous record, so there's no surprise there. Eventually the track builds up and out come the hard rock riffs that also were present on "Effloresce".

While there were many post-rock elements present in "Effloresce", it seems most of them have gone to the side to add a more alternative element to the mix, evidenced on "Heaven Alive". I've always praised singers like Mike Vennart, singers that can easily mingle with the alternative metal/rock scene, but instead chose to be adventurous and play a progressive style of rock like this, or Nicholas Chapel of Demians. Yes, a lot of post-rock elements have been pushed aside in this album, but it's for the better here. This sophmore record is more developed, polished. Oceansize can easily produce radio-ready hits while sticking to the status quo and please the prog heads and post-rock/metal fans.

That much is clear on "A Homage To Shame". Immediately, the metal aspect of this group emerges into a blistering hailstorm, but only for a few seconds as the guitars drop out and give away for Jon Ellis' lone bass over Mark Heron's drumbeat. Vennart continues to sing like a god and a man possessed. This is definitely one of their heaviest tracks, but the alternative rock elements persist, a bit of Muse, a pinch of The Mars Volta here and there. It's what these guys do so well and combining elements of all different bands, genres and styles to create their own delicious part of our nutritious breakfast.

That being prog music, of course.

"Meredith" brings back those post-rock elements in grand fashion. It seems to be the real majesty of this band is the ability to create a song that post-rock fans will be familiar with with the songwriting and accessibility of alternative rock/metal. This carries into "Music For A Nurse". Again, the post-rock elements are there, but there's a major key in there. There's almost a sense of optimism throughout the song, unlike most post-metal/shoegaze songs that usually are in minor keys and sing/talk about despair and sadness. Now, this isn't the type of song to ask a girl to dance to, but it's not going to scare any girls away compared to, oh, I don't know, a Cannibal Corpse song, so there's something for everybody here!

"New Pin" starts off in a "proggy" fashion with an unusual intro but a usual outcome; an alternative rock song that owes its roots to the progressive mash of music this band is performing. Yet another song that can easily make waves on the radio, while "No Tomorrow" starts off like another post-rock/alternative rock tune, until Vennart starts screaming again and kicks things up a notch. The temp maintains that heavy beat to the last second of the song. It's full on metal to this point on. The band even plays to the point where the chords develop into a full on breakdown.

Yes, kids, a breakdown. The kind that emo kids with black hair, tattoos all over their arms, legs and balls and rings going through every single body part they have (left) play. A true, no nonsense, hardcore style, double-bass heavy breakdown.

All I can say after that.................is AWESOME.

That is an extremely sharp contrast to "Mine Host" which is purely an all atmospheric track, with no vocals or drums until halfway through the song. Again, the band may have a few tracks on this album that steer towards the direction of alternative rock/metal, but they haven't forgotten about their roots, and the post-rock elements are still present as on "Effloresce".

"You Can't Keep A Bad Man Down" kinda speaks for itself. It's another vocal and harmony laden track that could easily hit the Billboard Top 100 were it not for the progressive elements there that just make pop record labels cringe and grimace just at the thought of it. It's a formula which few prog bands can accomplish; stay true to the genre while creating catchy lyrics and hook to draw in fans. Oceansize have done it, same with Man On Fire and Echolyn. Problem is, though, prog fans don't like it.

It seems like whenever there are progressive bands that make songs with catchy lyrics and chorus, prog fans are quick to turn against them with excuses like "Oh, they're trying to sell out, they're not a true prog band!". My answer?

Go suck on something.

There is no law in the unwritten rulebook on "How To Make Progressive Rock/Metal Music" on the forbidden rule of catchy lyrics and chorus. Hell, how do you think Dream Theater's "Pull Me Under" got popular? If you go to a Dream Theater concert and you hear the band play "Pull Me Under", chances are you'll hear the audience singing along with them. Many people say that it's the song that revolutionized progressive metal, and I will tell them that they're so full of s***. "Pull Me Under" was, is and always will be their version of the "pop" song.

Finally, "Ornament/The Last Wrongs" finishes the record with a fantastic outing of post-rock, once again. It caps off Oceansize's best album to date, a more polished, refined, refurbished version of "Effloresce". It's another example of the ingenuity that prog fans can create their own style of music while maintaining the alternative and popular lyrics and catchy chorus'.

Wicket | 5/5 |

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