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North Atlantic Oscillation - The Third Day CD (album) cover


North Atlantic Oscillation

Crossover Prog

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4 stars If you consider that most of the prog rock in the last 20 years has gone either the progressive metal path (Dream Theater, etc.) or the revival path (Transatlantic, etc.), North Atlantic Oscillation offers real freshness. A curious blend of electronics, ethereal melodies and Beach Boys/Simon & Garfunkel (or even Yes) vocals, but also reminiscent of Radiohead post "Ok Computer" or those lunatics called Sigur Rós. So, nothing to do with Genesis, King Crimson or ELP here, buy maybe some Pink Floyd flavour. NAO are, with Anathema, the best representatives of the so-called "post-progressive" genre (both of them under the umbrella of the K-Scope label). After their very recommendable "Fog Electric", "The Third Day" follows this unique sound that may be catalogued as "easy-listening" in the first place, but there's really more than meets the ear, and their tunes, although being catchy, are not easy at all. There's something addictive in the music of this Scottish combo, a strange beauty in songs like "Elsewhere", "August", "Penrose" or "Wires". Like watching clouds and figuring out their vaporous forms, this is what NAO music is about.
Report this review (#1284725)
Posted Saturday, September 27, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.4 Stars.

North Atlantic Oscillation are a rather interesting band that mix loud and bold Electronic rock with some elements of Prog and Post rock. There is no retro Prog to be found on any of their albums and they like to stay at the more cutting edge of technology in the way they make their music.

Their previous album Fog Electric was a very load and fast paced record with the band almost swamping you with waves of heaves distorted electronic rock. With The Third Day they have quietened their sound quite a lot and focused more on Post Rock and Prog elements which makes this album much more varied than before. When the band was interviewed they said that the start and finish of some of their songs would be very different to the main section of that song. This was done so that the listener would find it harder to know when one song finished and another started, which encourages them to listen to The Third Day as a album rather than a collection of songs.

Personally I'm not very happy with how this artistic choice panned out, as these random changes are usually too short and lacking in depth to be worth listening in their own right and they sometimes jar with the remainder of the song. Fortunately there are quite a number of strong tracks here which make the album worthwhile even if the main gimmick was not a success. "Elsewhere" for example has that classic Post-Rock song structure of starting slowly and becoming a real powerhouse at the end, but their experience in electronic rock give the song a different vibe to that normally done. " Do Something Useful" is one of the rarer times where having 2 very different sections merged together works really well and it is one of the most experimental tracks on the album. There are also some more catchy songs such as the addictive and upbeat instrumental "Penrose" and the moody Alternative rock style "Wires" which will stay in your head for a long time.

Overall this album is quite accessible and is not a very challenging listen, but there are some interesting and original ideas to be found, some which are a success and some not. But credit has to be given to the band for taking risks and mixing up their songwriting method. 3 stars, especially recommended for those who like modern Prog but don't mind it being relatively accessible.

Report this review (#1472796)
Posted Monday, October 5, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Listening diary 30th September, 2021: North Atlantic Oscillation - The Third Day (progressive/dream pop, 2014)

There are plenty of bands around carrying the spirit of the techy, mathier side of Mew, notably in the progressive metal scene, so it's nice to come across a band who carries the spirit of their dream pop side. North Atlantic Oscillation, despite label connections with progressive rock, are far more of a dream pop act than anything else, but it is that very subtle prog influence that sets them apart. The body of this album contains shimmering melodies and vacuum noise to rival many MBV clones, but beneath the surface they have a kind of intricacy rarely seen in dream pop and shoegaze, with odd time signatures, strange structures and an arthouse sensibility creeping in on a few tracks.

7.7 (6th listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog -

Report this review (#2598051)
Posted Friday, October 1, 2021 | Review Permalink


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