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Oceansize Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up album cover
3.63 | 188 ratings | 12 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Part Cardiac (4:10)
2. SuperImposer (4:15)
3. Build Us a Rocket Then..." (3:59)
4. Oscar Acceptance Speech (8:54)
5. Ransoms (4:07)
6. A Penny's Weight (3:38)
7. Silent/Transparent (8:29)
8. It's My Tail and I'll Chase It If I Want To (3:36)
9. Pine (4:55)
10. SuperImposter (5:16)

Total Time 51:19

Bonus track on 2010 special edition:
11. Cloak (3:39)

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Vennart / vocals, guitar, bass
- Steve Durose / guitar, backing vocals
- Richard "Gambler" Ingram / guitar, keyboards
- Steven Hodson / bass, keyboards, guitar
- Mark Heron / drums & percussion

- Claire Lemmon / backing vocals (2,6)
- Simon Neil / backing vocals (8)
- Semay Wu / cello
- Helen Tonge / violin

Releases information

Artwork: Tommy Davidson

CD Superball Music ‎- 0504422 (2010, UK)
CD Superball Music ‎- SBMSECD 014 (2010, UK) Media-book SE with 1 bonus track

Thanks to AgentSpork for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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OCEANSIZE Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up ratings distribution

(188 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

OCEANSIZE Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars While this album shows signs of growth and experimentation, Self-Preserved While the Bodies Float Up does not ever reach nor rise above the glories of Everyone into Position or even Efflouresce. The growth and experimentation is more into the territory that RADIOHEAD and DOVES have long since traveled--i.e. making more 'poppy' progressive rock.

1. "Part Cardiac" (4:10)
begins with some 1940s-sounding drum sounds before exploding into heavy power chords similar to BLACK SABBATH or TOOL. Then a TOBY DRIVER-esque vocal enters giving the rest of the song a very KAYO DOT "Coyote" sound. Not very much to my liking. 5/10

2. "SuperImposer" (4:15) begins like a post-New Wave song with a bit more of an edge--somewhat like
THE TUBES--with a vocal that sounds very much like SMASH MOUTH. The guitar "leads" have a much softer than usual sound to them--somewhat reminiscent of mid-to late 80s CURE guitar sounds. Drummer Mark Heron persists in rolling to the point of annoyance on one particular tom (a frequent complaint of mine on this album)--or is that his snare with a annoying 'hollowed-out' sound? Not a great song. 5/10

3. "Build Us a Rocket Then..." (3:59)
begins with Heron again pounding away far to exclusively on his 'hollowed-out' snare as the band's chords play. The song as a whole is pretty decent were it not for that damned annoying snare. 6/10

4. "Oscar Acceptance Speech" (8:54)
begins with piano, treated voice and straight-time drum beat(!) An unusually sparse sonic treat in which space and emptiness play a huge role in setting mood. Nice vocal melody. Jazzy piano soli over treated percussion are very cool. Frippish guitar sound/soli from the 2:50 to 4:10 mark is also very cool. The multi-layered repetitive vocals with background vocal harmonies from 4:05 to 5:18 has a nice effect--one of the band's 'new' experiments. The chamber strings section from 5:25 to close is another experiment that adds greatly. 8/10

5. "Ransoms" (4:07)
begins as if we're in a bar listening to the opening song of blues-rock band. Very cool. Cymbols and soft vocals enter before the rest of the band also join in at the 1:00 mark. One of Oceansize's signature sounds is the soft tremolo strumming of electric guitar single- or multiple-strings. It is here used to great effect to give the vocal a kind of vocal cloud mattress. Overall, the song has a very DOVES feel to it?except for the bluesy guitar leads. Nice song. 7/10

6. "A Penny's Weight (3:38) begins with more ventures into multiple layered vocals?a very unusual and delicate song constructed around the vocal harmonies. (Unlisted in the album credits, I swear I hear the presence of a female b vocalist). The song has a kind of sound and feel not unlike THE CLIENTELE, PREFAB SPROUT, DREAM ACADEMY, and even old GENESIS. 'Nice' song?almost poppy. (Is Oceansize trying to generate radio play?a hit song?!) 9/10

7. "Silent/Transparent" (8:29)
begins with some steady cymbol play over syncopated drumming and C&W guitar arpeggios. A very delicately and intricately woven song develops in fullness. Backwards playing guitar soli beginning around the 2:00 mark give the song a FRIPP-SUMMERS kind of feel. Nice impassioned vocals throughout. Guitar solo backed by organ-sounding guitar playing at the 4:05 is so unlike this band. The whole song is so much more like a DOVES song ("Here It Comes," "There Goes the Fear," et al.) Very nice song. Here is the Oceansize that Iove best: delicate intricacies and subtleties within a hard rock feel. 9/10

8. "It's My Tail and I'll Chase It If I Want To" (3:36) begins as if one of the band's guitarists is just fooling around with some very simple arpeggios while the rest of his band mates get into position to start. Then WHAM! The full wall of sound enters?again sounding very much like MY BLOODY VALENTINE, KITCHENS OF DISTINCTION, RIDE, and THE TUBES--until the multilayered vocals enter. Wow!
The frenetic pace of all layers of the vocals--which continue to keep up their breakneck speed and volume for over a minute?are amazing, fresh and exciting. Ends with a very KITCHENS OF DISTINCTION section. Powerful song! 9/10

9. "Pine" (4:55)
is another song sounding very much like the softer side of RADIOHEAD or DOVES ("Northenden," "Zither," et al.) Very Jimmy Williams (DOVES)-like vocal. If only DOVES had a drummer one tenth as good as Mark Heron! Love the 'infinite guitar' sound and strings used in the background. Nice song. 7/10

10. "SuperImposter" (5:16) is another Texas-sounding song--even down to the drums--until the 1:00 mark when the chorus adds a few instruments to fill the soundscape. A pretty standard southern srock song until some of Oceansize's trademark warped sounds and chord/key changes occur at the 3:15 mark, giving the song a much heavier, eerie sound and feel. Final harmonized vocals sound almost BEATLE-esque (Abbey Road). 7/10

11. "Cloak" (3:41) starts with a very slow, subdued vocal, bass, and drums--almost JOY DIVISION feel--before piano and guitar join in to give it a bit more of a TOM WAITS feel. This song does very little for me--almost as if it isn't there. 5/10

I must admit, this album keeps growing on me the more I listen to it. My first reaction was "Where are you guys going?" but I'm now liking their turn to more standard song constructions and less of the hard-edged Post Rock stylings. 3.75 stars.

Addendum 10/15/2010: Repeated listens reveals the lack of substance beneath this album's thin veneer of pop-ness. 3.25 stars.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars New Oceansize release is more or less what you're expecting from them. Or at least what I'm expecting from their new release.

This band was never known by experiments but from other hand they learned their lessons really well. Quality and very British sound, mixing Radiohead, Hawkwind, some indie rock elements, post rock,early Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree in one not very original, but quite comfortable mix.

As often with them compositions are quite faceless, but atmosphere is warm and pleasant. What means you like them when you're listening the album and will forget about them few hours later. Trying to make catchy songs, they even add some heavy riffs on some compositions (don't think it helps much though).

In all another PT/Radiohead clone with bigger doze of psychedelia in their sound. Not bad, but hardly interesting.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Oceansize started as an atmospheric rock band that combined majestic post-rock with a keen sense for catchy indie tunes. The preceding album Frames, a good 3 years ago already, announced a new direction, with more metal and a more technical rhythmic approach. Now the long wait is over.

Judging from the first track, the band seems to fully indulge in their love for Soundgarden, it's great heavy doom rock with loud vocals and an instant success for me. I could handle a whole album of this but the remainder of the album is less metallic, and not always equally successful. I blame it on the limited variation in the vocals, they go by without much memorable moments and make the album too monotonous, with lots of songs lacking identity and heart, despite the emo leanings of the voice.

The songwriting sticks to guitar based indie-rock with some limited Prog influences, most notable in the time signatures and some vague Porcupine Tree influences, both in songwriting and sound, but you won't find any song or any arrangement that's even half as good as a PT one.

There hasn't been much PA commotion around the release of this album, and admitted, it doesn't offer anything I get excited about. I can only listen to few songs at once when picking up this album. The problem is that while they are quite good individually, there's a monotony that makes the full length album a dull listen. 3 stars of the less twinkling kind.

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Self-Preserved While The Bodies Float Up' - Oceansize (9/10)

Luckily gracing my ears a few days before 2010 wrapped up, this album by Manchester rock ensemble Oceansize rose quickly up through my top ten, ultimately placing second only to Alcest's 'Écailles De Lune'. Taking part in the more modern sound of progressive rock, this UK group could easily be compared to the sound of giants such as Porcupine Tree, but truly come onto their own and escape any other band's shadow, as is demonstrated by the verbosely titled 'Self-Preserved While The Bodies Float Up'.

Throughout each of the album's ten tracks, Oceansize maintains their keen ability to combine prog rock, pop, sludge metal, and even punk together into one comprehensive fifty minute journey. Starting things off on it's heaviest moment, 'Part Cardiac' is a perfectly abrasive introduction to the music here, although the album rarely reprises the same doomy riffs again. As a rule, the music here is more technical and heavy than what Oceansize is normally used to doing, although there are some lighter, ethereal moments to the album as well. 'Oscar Acceptance Speech' for example, is an atmospheric piano voyage reminiscent of Danish alt- proggers Mew. Along with the rest of the album's middle-section (including the slightly jazzy 'Ransoms', the post-rock ballad 'A Penny's Weight' and the epic highlight of the album 'Silent/Transparent') things are kept quite mellow, before getting heavy once again with the highly punk-inspired 'It's My Tail And I'll Chase It If I Want To'.

Overall, the album comes out to being one of the most consistent to be released in 2010, made less than perfect simply due to the fact that the band seems to draw upon the tricks and style conventions of other bands over innovating their own. Oceansize may not be the most original modern progressive rock band out there, but with this album, dare I say they are one of the best.

Review by Rune2000
3 stars I'm very much a latecomer when it comes to Oceansize. Not only have been completely ignorant to their existence until the release of Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up (try saying that title five times in a row!) but I also began listening to the album as a preparation for what would be the band's final tour. The whole arrangement of the show here in Stockholm was somewhat of a mess; Not only was there a complete lack of promotion for the event, I happened to stumble upon it through a bleak post on, but also the fact that it was a completely free gig really didn't sit right with me. It might seem ignorant to complain for experiencing a free live gig on a Sunday night but my concern had more to do with the band's promoters who presumably weren't that good at their jobs. Fortunately, Oceansize didn't disappoint me with their live performance which did succeed to spark my interested in the band and it wasn't long until I really sunk my teeth into their material.

Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up might be considered underwhelming for the long time fans of the band who prefer its predecessor Frames. Yes, the songs are shorter but they are also a bit more direct in their approach and the atmospheric soundscapes aren't as spectacular. Plus, the versatility of the band's repertoire is even more prominent here than what it was on Frames. Still, all these factors manage to somehow become advantages for a rookie like me since the overall result is a much more interesting album that really grew on me with each new visit.

I mentioned in my review of Frames that Oceansize hasn't exactly been a band that managed to completely blow me out of water with their approach to music. There are some qualities that I enjoy and others not so much, but the final result is definitely pleasant enough for me to explore even in the future.

**** star songs: Part Cardiac (4:10) SuperImposer (4:15) Build Us a Rocket Then..." (3:59) Oscar Acceptance Speech (8:54) A Penny's Weight (3:38) Silent/Transparent (8:29) Pine (4:55) SuperImposter (5:16)

*** star songs: Ransoms (4:07) It's My Tail and I'll Chase It If I Want To (3:36)

Review by Wicket
3 stars All's well that ends decently, I guess.

Oceansize's first three albums are pretty well balanced as far as sound goes. Their unique blend of ambient shoegaze interspersed with heavy interludes and breakdowns was a nice niche as far as modern British prog rock outfits go, and their final album here isn't bad here. The only difference is that this album just isn't as cohesive as the others.

"Part Cardiac", the intro song, is rather obnoxious. It's loud from beginning to end, it doesn't change at all, and there's a certain frequency being played that irritates my ears. It's literally unlistenable, otherwise I feel like I'm getting tinnitus just from listening to it. "Superimposer" feels like a bit of a nod to early 90's emo groups like American Football and Mineral, but it still just seems a bit too loud. Even "Build Us A Rocket Then" would be a great technical song if it were mixed just a bit softer.

"Oscar Acceptance Speech" feels a bit more like classic Oceansize; lengthy, dramatic, soft atmospheres with heavy droning, while "Ransoms" is a nice ballad interlude of sorts, although "A Penny's Weight" is just as soft and cushy. Two songs in stark contrast from the first few.

"Silent/Transparent" also begins with a very American Football-esque sound, until the drama increases and builds like a classic post-rock track (think Explosions in the Sky), slowly building from soft to loud, while "It's my Tail and I'll Chase It If I Want To" is a bit more schizophrenic. "Pine" is a pleasant, almost catchy tune, while "Superimposter" and "Cloak" end the album from mellower to mellowest.

All around, apart from "Part Cardiac", the rest of the album is just fine. There aren't any real standouts or memorable tracks, but they're all fine on rotation. The biggest problem is the lack of cohesion and track listing. Loud and soft tracks are bunched together and few songs on the album balance both like previous albums. It seems like a classic example of band members trying to write in different directions in the same song, which could make sense why the band broke up.

It's a shame, really, but Oceansize made some good tunes throughout its brief career. Just a shame their last album ended with a whimper instead of a bang.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Giving an opinion on an Oceansize album is a difficult job. If Everyone Into Position was their attempt at pleasing the masses (and it was) then follow-upFrames was a band unleashed into the wild, attempting to do everything within the space of 50 minutes, resulting in an incoherent album that ... (read more)

Report this review (#937524) | Posted by almostreal | Sunday, March 31, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The higher the quality of one's past works, the greater the expectations for the future. So high is the standard of Oceansize's previous three albums, that the risk of disappointment was always present. Not to give up without a fight, Oceansize have nonetheless produced an excellent album. ... (read more)

Report this review (#384097) | Posted by Warren | Friday, January 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "An astounding and eclectic modern album of epic proportions." With 'Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up,' Oceansize proves that even after more than ten years of activity, a band can still release incredible music. Yes, Oceansize are still going strong, and this is perhaps their most div ... (read more)

Report this review (#305809) | Posted by The Monodrone | Wednesday, October 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars With a little bit of experience, it's possible for the average music lover to guess the genre of an album from its title and cover. In this case, massively long title with morbid themes and woodcut-style, black-and-white illustration hint at post-rock and post-metal. While this is not a sure-f ... (read more)

Report this review (#301270) | Posted by Alias | Friday, October 1, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For two years in a row, there has been an album released on September 14 that I anticipated for months. Last year's (Porcupine Tree's The Incident) was sadly somewhat dissappointing (not bad, just not as good as I'd hoped), but this year's is not. At all. In the least. Oceansize just proved again ... (read more)

Report this review (#299096) | Posted by Forscyvus | Monday, September 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'm trying not to pass early judgment on this album as I've only heard it a small handful of times so far, but there's really no doubt that Oceansize has crafted another excellent album. Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up (quite the mouthful, I must say) is the band's fourth full-length a ... (read more)

Report this review (#297291) | Posted by AgentSpork | Friday, September 3, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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