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4 stars At last, 2009 saw the new release from this cunning band.

Well, at first I'd like to mention it is not the Oceansize we used to know before. IMHO Oceansize is a great modern Heavy Prog band (famous for its neverending energy). This EP demostrates a lighter and mellower side of this band - but in fact it works!

All the tracks here are very atmospheric, but I don't consider them post-rock, like some people tend to do. This EP is just like an unplugged version of Oceansize's music. Energy and power and everything else that makes Oceansize a noble modern Prog band is still here: complex structures (extra-complex, I'd say), excellent polyphony of the three guitars, massive drumming (special respect to Mark), magic atmosphere.

Home & Minor is a great addition to every Prog/Art rock fan, who doesn't reckon that Prog is dead. Of course, this music is not Art rock in its former sense - but you'll hardly find any modern band similar to Oceansize. In addition to that, we have at hand a nice example of what Oceansize really are. They can play different music having their own style.

I've enjoyed mostly the second track and Home & Minor itself, but the other tracks are good as well. Actually, there is a filler (Monodrones), but it doesn't mar the whole integrity of the EP (suppose there's no as such concept here).

Excellent, but we're looking forward to hear a more heavy Oceansize on their next masterpiece, indeed.

Report this review (#247475)
Posted Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars A little disappointment... Just a Little one...

Well, Oceansize kept my attention a year ago and I get very excited by their very well balanced concept, having a mellow soft side (very emotional) mixed with more heavy alternative rock phrases, aggressive and dynamic with long instrumental arrangements full of meaning and sense. Well, in this album, the intensity of other albums is gone, and what we have is pure depressive soft rock with some nice atmospheric approaches that lacks of variations, twists and turns. The result is a good album for rainy and gray days but nothing more.

This is alternative rock with long arrangements, really, nothing more. I kind of like, occasionally, the soft mood of the songs and likes how they really set that soft atmosphere and the instruments really work for the songs and matches well with one another. The vocals are great for the mood as well, very soft with a brit-pop vibe in the middle. After a while, I keep wondering if they are going to do something different and suddenly the songs ends. I think the best way to describe this particular EP is: lame. It lacks of variations and maybe their goal was to bring you down and make you feel depress and empty, they succeed on it, and I do find cool some moods here and there, but the songs need to grow in some points but it never reaches some special place. The songs are like cool introductions but then they never get into the climax and just fade away.

Besides that, I want to say that you don't have to worry too much about this. At the end, is just an EP, so we can expect a new album coming any time soon. This is just a middle step in between and at the end, their mellow and lighter side is something good, the inconvenience is that there's no intensity at all, so we get a one sided effort. I really expect more intensity for their next album. We always can go back and try their three other albums, which are really cool and great.

If you don't know Oceansize yet, go to another of their albums, this one is maybe only for already converted fans, but I'm not sure if even they will care too much about this EP. 2 stars is fair. I really look forward to their next main album. I really hope to be in the level of their previous albums. Only time will tell.

Report this review (#280866)
Posted Friday, May 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I really enjoyed Home and Minor.

I feel reviewers of this album are failing to recognize that this is an EP - not a full sized project, but rather an experiment in Oceansize's softer side. Of course it lacks the variety of the masterpiece Frames. This EP's objective was to create soft, pretty songs that capture the band's sensitivity, and is confined within a modest 32 minutes. This is not a bad thing, just take it for what it is: 6 well constructed yet unconventional, distinctly Oceansize songs.

The songs on Home and Minor are much in the same vein as those on Frames - well balanced yet highly unique. No two songs sound alike. There is ambiance, hypnotic rhythms, beautiful melodies, as well as touchingly somber moments towards the end. Only the last two songs are slightly weaker, but the band never looses it's ambition and willingness to experiment. It is oh-so-much more than "alternative rock with long arrangements."

Oceansize is a band in constant motion. They have never stopped developing and have never repeated themselves, never stagnated. This EP is a glimpse of just one of Oceansize's many faces, and a good starting point for some one looking to get into this band. But it should be noted, there is more to them than is seen on Home and Minor.

Report this review (#291142)
Posted Tuesday, July 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars Home & Minor is simply a 35 minute EP of music which is showcasing a more experimental and mellower side of the amazing band Oceansize. I have become a full-time fan of this band and their style of post-rock and heavy prog. This is one of the most innovative bands out there, and with this EP, they for the most part leave behind their heavier edge to produce what is not necessarily and acoustic album, but a spacier, softer and yet adventurous EP.

There were plans to release an EP like this from as early as their initiation as a band. It was an attempt to win over those adventurous music lovers that don't like so much feedback and heaviness in their music, yet still love the innovation that the band has been known to explore. This little EP is a beautiful representation of the band's genius. I love it just as much as their full albums and the only regret I have is that it isn't longer. But I am sure a lot of fans would have been outraged because of the lack of dynamics in the music. That is not true with me, I love the variety and tone of this album and consider it as good as their albums.

Any of these songs would have been good enough for inclusion on any of their full albums, and they would not have taken away from them. It was the decision of the band though, to feature them on their own. Maybe there was a fear that these gems would have been swallowed up in the fierceness of their typical music, though the band is always known to show their sensitive side in various places throughout their albums too.

Immediately, with "Legal Teens", you hear a difference in the typical intensity of the music. This one, to me, is the most subdued as far as standing out. A good song, but mostly a good introduction to the EP and the tone is set in this track. "Getting to Where Water Cannot" is bigger standout and the emotion in this song is very evident. This track proves that you don't have to be loud and extreme in dynamics to be powerful and beautiful. It ventures into some nice jazz territory with interesting chords and movement. This is a great example of the band's genius. "Monodrones" is a short instrumental which is based on a drone and beautiful swirling guitars, which I find very ambient and relaxing. It sets the mood for the best track coming next which is the title track "Home & Minor" which features some lovely harmonics and even has a nice build up which features brass instruments which are a rarity in t Oceansize's music. This is a beautiful track. Another 3 minute instrumental follows which flows along nicely and then the EP is wrapped up with another 8 minute track with subdued vocals, background voices and swirling guitar and vibes.

It is hard to describe where this music takes me, but I love it and find it as strong as any of their albums. I love their intensity in their albums, but I feel that intensity in this EP also even if the music is softer and explorative. I continue to hold my stance that I believe this is one of the best bands in Prog rock in this era and I think they are completely underrated in the music world. People should be listening to this music. Of course, this EP is not indicative of their usual style, but it makes a great place to come when you feel like music that is dreamy and lovely, yet still amazing. Most reviewers have been giving this lower ratings because of it's change of intensity, but I listen to it and still find a masterpiece of prog rock. Harmonics, textures and beauty abound in this recording and I don't hesitate to give it 5 stars. I keep thinking I'll find a recording by this band that I won't consider essential, but I continue to be amazed by the band and their music.

Report this review (#1419377)
Posted Sunday, May 24, 2015 | Review Permalink

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