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Ozric Tentacles - There Is Nothing CD (album) cover


Ozric Tentacles

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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5 stars Without a doubt, my favorite early OZRIC album, this was their final album to feature Tig (Nick van Gelder) who later spent a short time with Jamiroquai (although not on the album that featured that hit with the dorky video, "Virtual Insanity"). This is truly OZRICS on their way to more great things to come. The album opens up with "The Sacred Turf", an intense jam that the band often finds themselves doing on many of their albums, this is pretty typical OZRICS. You have an original of "O-I" which was later re-recorded for "Pungent Effulgent". Sticks pretty much the same, with a different solo. "Jabular" is one of their more techno-like pieces, but I mean more in an '80s fashion, not '90s, like often heard on the albums they did when Rad and Seaweed were in the band (like Curious Corn, Waterfall Cities, and The Hidden Step). "Staring at the Moon" is one of the three reggae type pieces found on this album. "Lull Your Skull" is an interesting one, with some great synth work, and Roly giving us an odd combination of fretless and slap-bass work. As a matter of fact, I feel Roly gives us his best bass work here, showing his abilities on fretless, as well as the standard bass using the slap-bass technique, something he didn't seem to do on other albums. "Crap Nebula" and "Kola B'Pep", once again, are more reggae pieces, while "Thrashing Breath Texture" is a more thrashing piece. Not all the pieces on this album work. For example, the original version of "The Eternal Wheel". It was vastly improved on "Erpland" with actual guitars and drums, this one is little more than a drum machine experiment that seems to little for me, and it's almost completely unrecognizable. The album closes with the wonderful title track, a cool ambient experiment with ethnic influences (and despite the ethnic influences, just to let you know that John hadn't even joined the band yet). With the exception of "The Eternal Wheel", another great OZRIC albums, in my book.
Report this review (#5382)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I just recently was able to get a copy and I have to say that this is definitely one of the best Ozric cds I've heard from the tape era (aside from Sliding Gliding Worlds). This on is a bit more up beat but also incredibly easy to get into. Really a very interesting, exciting and really gripping cd from the Ozrics. One that no fan should go without, none of the material is bad in any way.
Report this review (#5381)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you like Steve Hillage, early Hawkwind, and the likes, you are absolutely going to love this album. Go on, just go and buy it, you will enjoy.

I have been seeing this band play live for almost 20 years now, and have owned 'There is Nothing' on tape (as it only used to be sold at their gigs) since 1988. The music on this album still sounds both very exciting and highly intoxicating. What more can I say .......... oh yeah .......

This album is very representative of the bands earlier years and influences, and is an absolute MUST for any Ozrics' fan.

Report this review (#5383)
Posted Monday, January 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars As their first two releases, this one is available as a dual CD release comprising of this recording as well as their next "Live Ethereal Cereal". In terms of "music" I'm afraid that little has changed when compared to their prior two works.

Same sort of improvised stuff, little to no feeling overall: this is what is mostly experienced during this extensive album. Originally recorded for limited distribution (and one soon knows why), this work is just a boring trip into some "Ozric" extravaganza.

This is just a weak approach to space-rock IMHHO. Just a recording of some chaps having fun and recording these momens. Where they playing real "music"? The same old poor reggae sounds featured in their two previous releases are present here as well: "Staring at the Moon", "Crab Nebula" and Kola B'pep are really worthless and are just fillers. Do press next, please.

This album is a bloody long (over sixty minutes) and it is just a confirmation of their two previous albums: tasteless and passionless bunch of songs. I wonder why I rate this with two stars. "There Is Nothing" is such a great and describing title. There is really nothing in here.

Report this review (#181972)
Posted Sunday, September 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
3 stars THERE IS NOTHING is the fourth cassette-only release from OZRIC TENTACLES in the 80s before they released their first official album "Pungent Effulgent" in 1989. After the excellent live album "Live Ethereal Cereal" the OZRICS returned to dish out another studio cassette recording shortly thereafter. This album pretty much continues the consistent sounds that every album before incorporated. The evolution of OZRIC TENTACLES has to be one of the most subtle and slow burners in all of music history because from the very first album to the latest, the differences are fewer than the similarities. Not to say there are no changes here though. There is a noticeable leap in production and mixing. The instruments blend together more effectively, the synths have more variety in not only sound but in volume control. There are also more ethnic influences creeping in as well.

The space rock retains a strong Hawkwind feel as usual but there is also a huge "Fish Rising" Steve Hillage feel as well. At times it is a bit too pronounced and the OZRICS feel like more of a tribute band than original. It wouldn't be an OZRIC TENTACLES early release if it didn't include some reggae, ambient synths, hypnotic percussion and echoing guitar riffs. This would also be the last release with drummer Tig (Nick van Gelder) who would be replaced by Merv Pepler. The music is consistent and the track "O-I" would be re-recorded and included on "Pungent Effulgent."

Personally except for the "Live Ethereal Cereal" release, i find these early offerings by the OZRICS a little monotonous and too similar in their style and song structures to warrant any true excitement. It should be remembered that this is space rock and not progressive compositions brimming with virtuosity. For what this band is offering is pleasant enough and well played and in the right mood can be quite satisfying. I tend to eschew these early releases for the most part because i find the later releases much more varied from this early stage. OZRIC TENTACLES albums tend to be quite lengthy affairs as well and at 72:06 this one is a bit too long. I can't say anything bad about this one, but at this point it does seem to evoke exactly the same reactions as the previous albums and coming right after the live album seems a little less energetic. Decent and pleasant but not much more.

As with all six of the cassette-only releases THERE IS NOTHING was eventually released in 1994 by Dovetail Records on CD and today can be found digitally remastered and available in the "Vitamin Enhanced" boxed set.

Report this review (#1440041)
Posted Sunday, July 12, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars 1986's There Is Nothing is the fourth of the band's early cassette releases (now reissued several times in various formats), and the third studio one (Live Ethereal Cereal being a live album). As well as the band's grasp on their chosen musical direction being tighter, the production values this time around are also markedly sharper than on their previous two studio releases, Erpsongs and Tantric Obstacles; this is particularly the case on the most recent round of remasters.

It still sounds a little rough around the edges - still like the product of an underground festival band, and without the pristine polish that their LPs from Pungent Effulgent would enjoy. However, this does give the release a lot of its charm; the production values are distinct enough from their "proper" albums, and the equipment just slightly older, so it all sounds just a little different from what would come later, but the production values are good enough that the album's origins as a cassette release don't overshadow the music. If you're going to explore this era of the group, this would be an excellent place to start.

Report this review (#2870196)
Posted Friday, December 23, 2022 | Review Permalink

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