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Oceansize Everyone into Position album cover
4.07 | 313 ratings | 29 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Charm Offensive (7:19)
2. Heaven Alive (6:20)
3. A Homage to a Shame (5:52)
4. Meredith (5:26)
5. Music for a Nurse (8:16)
6. New Pin (5:11)
7. No Tomorrow (7:10)
8. Mine Host (4:10)
9. You Can't Keep a Bad Man Down (7:36)
10. Ornament / The Last Wrongs (9:21)

Total Time 66:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Vennart / guitar, lead vocals
- Steve Durose / guitar, vocals
- Richard "Gambler" Ingram / guitar
- Jon Ellis / bass
- Mark Heron / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Spyros "Seth" Antoniou

2LP Beggars Banquet ‎- BBQ 244 (2005, UK)

CD Beggars Banquet ‎- BBQCD 244 (2005, UK)

Thanks to silentman for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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OCEANSIZE Everyone into Position ratings distribution

(313 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

OCEANSIZE Everyone into Position reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tristan Mulders
4 stars Oceansize - Everyone into Position

Oceansize was to me one of the big surprises of the last few years. I regard "Effloresce" as a brilliant album and even its successor EP "Music for Nurses" was pretty good. When I heard the news that a new full-length Oceansize album was about to be released I was on one hand very curious and excited about whether it was equally good as the band's previous output, on the other hand I was also a bit anxious that it wasn't.

After listening to the album for a few times I thought it simply did not live up to the standards and I stored it with all my other CDS, until at one point, weeks later, I decided to give the album another go and surprisingly it someone did work for me by that time. I guess it's all about the sound of the album. The music has a more straightforward approach and there's fewer room left in the compositions for the atmospheric interlude parts. These unfortunately were the things what their "Effloresce" debut album was so praised for. I decided to visit the band live on tour, perhaps that would lead me to appreciating this album a bit more.

And it certainly did.

I had the luck to see them doing a set of old and new songs (from all 3 studio releases) with some brilliant sound engineering. The three guitars were noticeable individual and I could make up things I never heard before while listening to the album, but did after hearing it live once! For instance there's this guitar part in the song Heaven alive which sounds like birds!

A surprising new approach on this album is part of the vocal department. Lead vocalist Mike Vennart screams a lot more on this album than we're just from him. Okay there's screaming vocals on both the "Effloresce" albums as well as on the "Music for Nurses" EP, but they're most of the time in the background, as a sort of background vocals to the normally sung lead vocals, but on for instance the song A Homage to a Shame he screams quite a few lines. This song by the way sounds as if it is a continuation of the "One out of nOne" track on the "Music for Nurses" EP. There are a few reprises of vocal lines as well as instrumental parts.

A few of the songs show the band heading of into post-rock territories, resembling music by Sigur Rós on the songs Music for a Nurse and Mine Host. Perhaps a bit of a prediction for the future? Also the inclusion of electronic drumming on New Pin sounds promising. Love to see them incorporation more electronic in their music. But no one knows what to expect for the future.

Review by FishyMonkey
4 stars This and Porcupine Tree's Stupid Dream are at about the same four star level. Probably in my top 15, but not my favorite album ever. With that obscure reference, I begin my review.

Maybe it's because this album hit me at exactly the right time and managed to sum up the sounds of my own life so perfectly. Maybe because of the diversity...the great production, the excellent musicianship...whatever it is, it has made me love this album. Yes, this album is more streamlined and more accessible than Effloresce, but in my opinion that's exactly what Oceansize needed to do. They just made this album work on so many levels.

Songs like Meredith, Music for a Nurse and Ornament / The Last Wrongs are perfect mood changer songs. Whether it's the hopeful and beautiful melodies of MfaN, the pure depression and dark edge of Meredith or the just all out feel good vibes of The Last Wrongs, it works perfectly. The Last Wrongs is my second favorite closer ever, being barely beaten out by Stop Swimming. It's the polar opposite of Stop Swimming though, whereas Stop Swimming could make me depressed for hours, this song just brightens my entire day and sets me off afresh.

Meanwhile, The Charm Offensive is an excellent opener, full of 90s guitar and laid- back multi-angled guitar melodies. Heaven Alive is pretty much the single, catchy, cool as hell and infectious. It does really a bit too much on its chorus, however. The heavy Home To A Shame is a relentless three-guitar assault that is pretty reminiscent of Tool's most recent effort Lateralus. New Pin is another pretty accessible song, but it's got a great electronic beat about it and works even better than Heaven Alive. No Tomorrow is a well-done conglamoration of all styles seen on the album so far, and it works nicely. Mine Host is slow and is simply a breather. You Can't Keep A Bad Man Down is probably the worst song on the album, but not horrid. And The Last Wrongs... perfect.

What a well done album, good job, Oceansize.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars.

I can see why these guys have played with PORCUPINE TREE in the past, their music really compliments PORCUPINE TREE's later records, although OCEANSIZE can be heavier at times.

The first song "The Charm Offensive" gets the record off to a rousing start. Drums and vocals complimenting each other while the guitar keeps piercing thru them both again and again, until we have some very bottom end guitar playing along with the drums. "Heaven Alive" also has a heavy under current of bass and drums, with lighter guitar sounds over top. Nice bass lines, then higher vocals. In "A Homage To A Shame" i'm reminded of INCUBUS, this is different from the first two songs and one of my favs. "Meridith" is another favourite, it's psychedelic and lighter sounding (even the vocals). Then we come to "Music For A Nurse". I love everything about this song ! It has special meaning for me as my sister is a nurse, and when we were younger (in our teens) I hurt her feelings different times by saying negative things to her. Many years later I wrote her a story about herself and her job just to show her how proud I was of her. She worked in the emergency room for a lot of years and helped a lot of people. Anyway I think of her every time I hear it, and it really pulls at my emotions. Gorgeous song.

"New Pin" is my third favourite, it just makes me smile, a feel good song. Reminds me very much of LIFEHOUSE. "No Tomorrow" begins with a nice drum barrage and the bass player does a great job, i'm thinking INCUBUS again (the vocals). Song 8 and 9 are okay, but my second favourite song is the final track on the record which is also the longest, and is very similar sounding to "Music For A Nurse". There is even some organ in this one. It begins with a long spacy intro then explodes, settles down again then explodes again. Vocals begin the second part of the song "The Last Wrongs" and meaningful, beautiful lyrics they are (see drake's review).

Highly recommended !

Review by Prog-jester
5 stars This album proves that the term MODERN PROG is not only my fancy no more!

I can describe OCEANSIZE's style by comparing them with other bands.Take TOOL, mix it with last PORCUPINE TREE's heavy stuff, through some alternative rock like INCUBUS or AUDIOSLAVE to this mixture and add a great deal of melancholic Post-Rock in RADIOHEAD/SIGUR ROS/even GYBE style.Also provide it with FX effects, soundscaping and beckground scratchings which will make Steve Wilson deadly jealous. Then all you need to do is adore it.

It's very hard to review - I simply worship to this album, it has opened my ears to some undiscovered before and unique things.It can be divided into 3 parts - the heavy block, the mellow block and the mixed block.

The heavy block starts (and the album itself) with...

"THE CHARM OFFENSIVE" (10/10), which begins in TOOLesque style in 11/16, then turns to PORCUPINish/PURE REASON REVOLUTION-like spot and ends with heavy 5/4 part (...AND YOU'LL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF THE DEAD or even NIRVANA come to mind).

"HEAVEN ALIVE" (7/10) is simply an alternative song in COHEED AND CAMBRIA vein, but a very GOOD alternative song (chosen as a sinlge).

"HOMAGE TO SHAME" (9/10) again in "TOOL meets MARS VOLTA"-style, but - as I told you before and will repeat it for a thousand times further - this is OCEANSIZE, and they're UNIQUE!!!

Then mellow part begins with...

"MEREDITH"(10/10), sheer beauty in RADIOHEAD/PORCUPINE TREE style with one of the best choruses I ever heard.This is the first song in 4/4, simple but haunting.

"MUSIC FOR A NURSE"(10/10) begins with Post-Rocky guitar which 5 patterns in 4/4 and drums playing 4 patterns in 5/4. Very good trick which no way harms this song - one of the mellowest pieces I ever heard!

"NEW PIN"(10/10) is what I'd choose to be a single - again 4/4 track with beautiful melody and emotional character.Hard to describe - it's very OCEANSIZEble!

The mixed part begins with...

"NO TOMORROW"(9/10), a song which starts pretty quiet but later climaxing into heavy but MUSICAL rumbling.

"MINE HOST"(8/10) is made in a manner of OCEANSIZE's debut - half-instrumental/half- song filled with soundscapes and mellow atmosphere.

"YOU CAN'T KEEP A BAD MAN DOWN"(9/10) is the sickest song here! You may become a bit tired with another OCEANSIZE half-rumble/half-mellow track, but in the middle you'll hear THE REAL INTENSITY!Compared to wildest KAYO DOT climaxes, this song makes your jaw hit the floor!

"ORNAMENT/THE LAST WRONGS"(10/10) is built around simple but awesome melody in 3/4 later accompanied by voices of the band.One of the best Post-Rock tunes I ever heard musically.

In conclusion: OCEANSIZE delievered NEW kind of Modern/Alternative Prog, rising their goals even higher than on their first album. Blurring the lines between dozens of genres and guitar/keyboard/FX sounds, Manchester band have managed to create THE MASTERPIECE of Progressive Music - and I'd chose them along with THE AMBER LIGHT as the Bright Ambassadors of Tomorrow. EXTREMELY recommended! Not to be missed!

PS: thanks to a Russian label which has made it possible to got both OCEANSIZE albums by license

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars Very similar ground treaded here following up "Efflorescence", with a slightly more straightforward delivery-- especially in the first set of songs which feature strong melodies and approachable hooks which get very heavy very quickly, but still feature the band's dynamic excellence throughout. More somber moments follow, with "Music For a Nurse" sounding VERY similar to Explosions in the Sky. The plodding "You Can't Keep a Bad Man Down" does little for me though, and is always skipped to the much more interesting finale.

Musicianship and production are on par with their debut, and I would say that "Everyone Into Position" is at least as good as that album, but the songs don't strike me as being quite as creative; but after enjoying most of them again I would recommend this one just as much as "Effloresce" to a new comer who is more than likely to be hooked by Oceansize's unique sound.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Review by Fight Club
4 stars I first heard about this band via Porcupine Tree, who recommended them on the website. Glad I checked them out because they're wield a great deal of aspects I look for in music.

First off, their sound is extremely unique. It is very Radiohead-esque, but with a clear progressive and post-rock tone. This is some of the most widely textured music out there. So much depth and so many layers, and the production meshes it all together perfectly. I really respect these guys for the way they blend so many styles together. There are hints of space rock, modern pop/rock, progressive, jazz, and so much else.

As far as musicianship goes, the album doesn't disappoint. The band really knows how to compose and incorporate their musical knowledge into their songwriting. The songs are never too overblown and drawn out, they always know where to draw the line which is something I admire.

What does the music feel like? Well for one thing it rocks! But not only does it rock, but it has all the pensive moments to even it out too. It's pretty accessible to the standard music listener (well maybe not, with a couple 7+ minute songs...) But it's got enough catchy moments to keep a Beatles fan satisfied and enough 7/8 and 6/8 moments to keep a prog fan satisfied. Anyways, to keep this review short, this is one of my top releases in recent years and I strongly recommend it!

Review by russellk
4 stars It's always hard to follow up a brilliant debut.

And while 'Everyone Into Position' is an excellent album in parts, to my ear it does not have the outstanding creative spark of 'Effloresce'. It sounds a little less focused, a little more processed, even a little sleepier; that nonchalant, slightly detached post-rock feel. It certainly doesn't draw me in like their debut.

That said, there are no duff tracks. Oh yes, there's a pre-track track, but if they're going to make it hard to listen to, I'm not going to bother. 'The Charm Offensive' is a great if slow start, finally resolving into something of interest after a minute or so. The track winds up into something very satisfactory indeed. 'Heaven Alive' reminds me of DEVIN TOWNSEND and COHEED AND CAMBRIA when it should be reminding me of OCEANSIZE. That said, it cranks along nicely and has a satisfying chorus. 'A Homage To A Shame' is darker and meaner, OCEANSIZE finally showing their teeth, just when I thought they'd had them pulled. 'Meredith' and 'Music For a Nurse' settle back into what has rapidly become OCEANSIZE's default position, a sort of alt/post-rock blend. Neither of these tracks appeal to me.

'New Pin' does though. An excellent single. 'No Tomorrow' crunches along nicely, but isn't that memorable, unlike the last two tracks, both excellent in their way. Specific praise must be reserved for the last track, 'Ornament/The Last Wrongs', which is the standout track on the album, and would have fitted very nicely on their debut. Finally a memorable melody.

I regard their debut as a far finer record than this, and in that I'm in a minority. Nevertheless, both albums are well worth purchasing by those with an interest in the development of progressive rock. There's nothing here that will charm those determined to remain focused on the 1970s, but those who enjoy any sort of metal, TOOL fans and those who enjoy modern music and production would be advised to give these albums a listen.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I guess that "Oceansize" won't sit for long in the space/psychedelic genre on PA and that it will be soon moved as "PT" has been.

The band has close link with the metal genre, but at the same time they can also release very melodic tunes with mostly catchy vocals parts. And most of the times, the sound is severely catching up at some point of the songs. "The Charm Offensive" fully corresponds to these criteria.

They are able to write attractive music for single release. It is the case with "Heaven Alive" which automatically pinpoint some musical similarity with "Porcupine Tree". A middle tempo song with a melancholic mood. Typical, I told you.

What's also typical is that the band can sound VERY heavy. Very metal like during "A Homage To A Shame". I guess that such a song would please any metal lover. If ever you are more on the trip side and expect some music à la "Eloy" (who sits in the same genre), let me warn you seriously. This song is not for you.

I find a bit strange that this band has so few reviews from true "PT" fans. They would be seriously pleased to listen to this "Oceansize" offering. "Meredith" is another of these sweet songs full of interesting guitar sounds, almost ambient style. Relaxing and almost magical.

But in terms of relaxing and spacey, the palm goes to "Music For A Nurse". The one and only of that kind on this album. Fully atmospheric and nicely trip oriented. One of my fave even if it might sound a bit longish. "Mine Host" is also similar and acts as a cooling tune after the mighty "No Tomorrow".

When compared to their debut, I have to say that this album does not hold those super hard/metal songs like "Massive Bereavement" which was on the edge for me. The band remains in a softer approach again for "New Pin". But the problem is that there are too many songs made of the same mould and at the end of the day diversity is lacking.

A song as "No Tomorrow" is more attractive thanks to its dual facet. Ambient and metal with an orgy of wild guitars (remember, there are three guitar players in the band). "Dream Theater" is the reference here. Similar wall of sound. Furiously heavy and wild.

The last two numbers will be longer ones (just as on "Effloresce"). But if you take "You Can't KeepA Bad Man Down", I have the impression that it sounds heavy just for the sake of sounding heavy. There is little make-up here. Just raw sounds.

The closing number is mostly tranquil, but pay attention because all of a sudden, some violent riffs are devastating and so savage. The vocals enter after more than five minutes while music remains of great magnitude. It is a very well polished and achieved track. One of the best of this good album.

Three stars.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The word is that Oceansize rejects the 'Prog Rock' label they've been given, and I can't help but agree. But the Indie invasion of Prog shows no signs of ebbing, its appeal reaffirmed with every passing day, and in the context of that invasion this is a quality album. Good material, well recorded and performed, and songs generally over five minutes. The music is guitar oriented and sports thick layers of chunk and unexpected rhythms. Mike Vennart's cool whisper works against the wall of guitars three deep, and Mark Heron plays his drumset with pluck and John Bonham mechanics. But because the band seems caught between complex, forward thinking rock and Soundgarden style uber-Alt, the drift factor here is large and the listener shouldn't be surprised if they find them self in deep thought about anything other than the music. Echoes of U2 in 8-minute 'Music for a Nurse' but just as they seem ready to delve deeper, the song fades and we're left with simply a very good modern rock band, 'New Pin' is not much more than a meal for FM radio and anthem 'Ornament/The Last Wrongs' doesn't bring anything new to the party.

A very good band, and not generally recommended for Progressive Rock listeners. A feeble three stars.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If Kevin Moore fronted Tool... They might sound a bit like this.

Oceansize's second cd, Everyone Into Position, is an excellent mix of pseudo-electronics and heavy rock with a bit of indie, metal and a healthy scoop of prog added. Most easily compared (as others have noted) in soundscape to a band like Tool it's also quite easy to compare them to the style of Kevin Moore's (ex-Dream Theater) solo projects such as Chroma Key and his new supergroup, OSI. Slightly fast but mostly mid-paced music with interesting time signatures and stellar instrumentation make this cd a very worthy listen.

Starting with the heavy THE CHARM OFFENSIVE the album starts on it's way. The dark riff that opens the track eventually leads us into the lo-key yet effective vocals which proceed to lull the audience for a minute until the song kicks it into high gear. The guitars become heavier and heavier until the first chorus when everything comes almost to a halt, ''everyone into position...'' and the song moves on it's way once more. Here we have an excellent track that does a truly excellent job of introducing the album as it's going to be for the rest of the duration. HEAVEN ALIVE starts a bit fast and with a bit more oomph than it's predecessor after a bit of pseudo-Egyptian sounding noises open the track. This song is a bit more geared towards rock with its almost screaming chorus section and its less subdued guitars. An excellent track, if a bit simpler in sound than the first song, this one is for the rockers. Going even heavier than the first two is the next track, HOMAGE TO A SHAME. Opening with a chaotic blast of guitar and rhythm the vocals come in with even more aggression than before and lead the track. This is one of the shorter songs on the album with one of the most clearly defined sing-along choruses which may not appeal to every prog-head, but it's good anyways.

Heavier and heavier the album goes, are they just going to keep going this way until they explode?

Luckily no. The next couple tracks come back down to earth with a lot more melody and structure in mind. MEREDITH is a brooding track with soundscapes along the lines of something out of Porcupine Tree's more recent stuff mixed with a little of their early Psych stuff. More subdued vocals and guitars with a highlighted bass and rhythm section make this track something very interesting. MUSIC FOR A NURSE is along the same lines -- Slow and subdued, this track winds it's way along feeling more human and emotional than anything on the disc thus far.

Then the music makes a change again.

Here is where the Kevin Moore comparisons really start to kick in. NEW PIN is a song with electronic leanings that sounds like something off of a Chroma Key or OSI album. Mike Vennart even starts to sound like Kevin Moore with his powerful yet subtle voice. With excellent pace and segments of music this song becomes a clean standout. NO TOMORROW is along this same style, this time getting heavier. Less electronically inclined and with a screaming section at the chorus with a couple very melodic sections this is a track that works well from any angle.

Slowing back down again, and again sounding a lot like a Kevin Moore project is the shortest song on the album, MINE HOST. Clocking at a mere 4:10, this lightweight (on the album anyways) is somewhat easy to overlook. But like many of the slow songs on this album the human feel to it makes it quite memorable after repeated listens. Coming to the end of the album YOU CAN'T KEEP A BAD MAN DOWN starts to gets things on the heavy side again. Vocals less subdued and guitars starting to rock out this track is one of the heaviest on the album. With some excellent speed changes and slow parts this song would have made a satisfying end to one great album... but they had to take it a step further.

The greatest standout by a wide margin (and the longest song as well) is the coda track ORNAMENT/THE LAST WRONGS. An excellent mix of everything that Oceansize does well, this track is what makes the entire CD worth it (even if the rest of the album as already incredible). The ORNAMENT segment of the track is a slow and beautiful instrumental that is truly serene while the LAST WRONGS has such a marvelous vocal melody that it's easy to lose track to time and space simply listening to it.

Looking at the cover one might think that this is the newest Ska CD on the block, but don't be fooled. This is one of the better prog releases by a new band this side of the millennium. Definitely worth every penny and second of listening, this is one that most should have in their collection. Not a masterpiece but darn close, this one gets 4 stars. Recommended for everyone, but especially recommended for people who have a love for some of the band's they're compared to (OSI, Tool, Porcupine Tree).

Review by The Rain Man
5 stars Oceansize's second album 'Everything into Position' did more than just reassure their fans that they didn't want to rely on the success of first album 'Effloresce'. The Manchester quintet have grown and matured as a band, creating an album which has expanded their musical horizons as well as creating an unsuspecting fan base along the way. As 4th track 'Meredith' appeared in the US TV show 'The OC'.

The strength and depth of this album is a clear step up from their debut. The band appears tighter and the songs feel more structured and better developed. The album can be split into two halves with a soft side and a heavy side. The soft side will take you to relaxing and peaceful place, like a January detox. The heavy side on the other hand will make you want to pick up an air guitar and thrash it until your arms are so sore you can't play another note. One thing that is for sure though is that this is great progressive rock music and although they've still got a bit to go before they can reach the accolades of current progressive rock heavyweights Porcupine Tree and The Mars Volta; if they keep up this kind of standard, it won't be long till they are joining them.

The soft side of the album, in my opinion displays their best work to date with the 2 stand out tracks of the album; 'Music for a Nurse' and 'Ornament/Last Wrongs'. Now you may not realise this but 'Music for a Nurse' was used as part of the Orange mobile network provider's advertising campaign on TV. Although it is a good taster of the track, it really does not give this 8 minute plus epic its true glory it so rightfully deserves. There is something about this song. The musical backdrop is one in which many post rock acts would aspire to make. It is the slow pace of the song which creates such a massive and sweeping sound. Add to this Vermont's glorious vocals and it just makes the song complete. 'Music for a Nurse' is a fitting title for the track too as it would be the perfect track for a nurse to sit back and unwind too after a stressful or busy day at the hospital as it is very relaxing and easy on the ears. For me, this song makes the album so special. Due to its length it was never going to get the radio airplay it deserved which shows the problem with radio rather than with Oceansize. Hopefully one day this song will be fully appreciated, but in reality that will be the day that people who work in radio realise people want to hear songs more than 4 minutes long.

The other epic track on the soft side of 'Everyone into Position' is album closer 'Ornament/Last Wrongs'. The dual track is a magical way to finish an album. The track opens with a gentle slow moving riff where silence is used after each movement. The song slowly builds up until Vermont and the other band members do the 'ah ah ah' bit followed by a much heavier riff. Probably not the best description of it, but once you hear it will make sense. The track then has a great crossover link as the song turns into 'The Last Wrongs' as other band members join Vermont on vocal duty in a choir type effect setting off with 'Signs the Signs invisible'. Once again the track starts off slowly then builds up to a crashing climax as Vermont cranks up the vocals with 'And yours is to just sustain'. This is one of the best endings to an album I have heard to an album in a long time. From album opener 'Charm Offensive' right through to this song and 'I am the Morning' and 'Long Forgotten' from 'Effloresce'; it is clear that Oceansize pay particular attention to the beginning and endings of an album as if the tracks are made with the positioning in mind. While many bands will argue over track order it as if Oceansize's pre- planning make this task the easiest of them all.

As you can see from 'Music for a Nurse', it is not just the beginning and ending of this album that makes it great but they also have great variety in between. The highlights of the heavier side of the album are 'Heaven Alive' and 'Homage to a Shame'. What I love the most about Oceansize's rockier songs is that not only do they try not to cram them down to three minutes and let the song expand naturally but Vermont's vocals are upped a notch while still being in his range where as other singers would lose control over some of the notes. Vermont is clearly in control as he blasts out 'This release inside of me, Is like my heaven calling' on 'Heaven Alive'. On 'Homage to a Shame' it is the great guitar work which takes centre stage as the quiet loud technique is used to great effect and the loud bits make it easily the heaviest track on the album. For me the technique makes the impact on the listener even greater. If you listen carefully through earphones you can also hear whispering on certain parts of the track which adds a nice touch as well as depth to the track along with the screaming towards the end of the track which acts as a great climax.

Overall this is a fantastic follow up album. They have a bit of a way to go before cementing their place amongst the great prog bands but if they continue to make albums like this surely it won't be long. From a selfish point of view though I just want this band to stay small as seeing them in smaller venues is a mesmerising experience. But wherever you go to see them you can be safe in the knowledge that the person standing next to you has a great taste in music.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars There are two striking things with current day indie/alternative rock, the first is that it gets a Prog tag too easily, the second is that I immediately warm up to it but get bored almost equally fast. Kind of the opposite course of usual prog rock appreciation, isn't it? Named after a Jane's Addiction song, Oceansize's music is a respectful tribute to that great band. Oceansize takes the proggy indie rock of Jane's Addiction into the 21st century by adding an equal dose of Tool and Radiohead to it. There's a slight spacey feel that could be referred to Floyd or to post-rock.

Oceansize's second is a worthy follow up to the debut, but all the peaks sit in the first half, resulting in a problemetically oversized album. Given the quality material that ended up on some of their EPs and singles, this album could have been a lot stronger.

The beginning is good though, The Charm Offensive is a spaced-out twist on Tool, executed by a good singer. Heaven Alive loans the funky vibe - and pretty much everything else as well - from Jane's Addiction, except for the voice, which sits somewhere in between Kevin Moore and Lane Staley. The opening bars and the ending of A Homage to a Shame seem to come straight off a Sonic Youth album. In between sits a Tool song. Meredith is a spaced-out musing and the first moment that has some Floydian traits, still the guitar similarities with the Cure are far bigger. Anyway, it's one of my favourite songs on the album together with Music for A Nurse, another attractive laid-back chunk of atmospheric post-rock, with a gloomy mood and soft vocals that remind me (in a good way) of the long tracks at the end of the Cure's Disintegration album.

At this point, the album has run its course, New Pin and No Tomorrow have their moments but get aggravating pretty quickly. Also the remaining tracks are far below the first half of the album. Oceansize sure had everyone in the band into position, but not every song yet.

Oceansize is an enjoyable but second class indie/alt rock band, certainly not in the same league as their heroes Jane's Addiction, Tool, Sonic Youth, Radiohead or the Cure. Anyway, as the first 5 songs show, Oceansize have it in them to create a great album, would that be the next one? 3.5 stars for now.

Review by BrufordFreak
5 stars A drummer who "refuses to play in straight time signatures." How fun--and challenging--is that? Music that sometimes sounds like 90's grunge ("You Can't Keep a Bad Man Down,"), TOOL's post-grunge "The Charm Offensive"), like THE CURE ("New Pin"), Math Rock ("Music for a Nurse"), like SIGUR RÓS's Post Rock ("Mine Host") or rages with the greatest Shoegaze-Grunge-Metal artists of all time ("You Can't Keep a Bad Man Down"), straight Metal ("A Homage to a Shame") and Death Metal ("No Tomorrow"), and even contains a retro song sounding as it's from the 60s era of stoner-psychedelia ("The Last Wrongs").

1. "The Charm Offensive" starts the album off with an edgy, grungy sound that builds as each lyrical stanza is sung. Nice rondo of interwoven, harmonizing vocal lines in the last two and a half minutes. (8/10)

2. "Heaven Alive" starts with a very strong U2 sound and feel to it--like the "Joshua Tree/Rattle and Hum" era. As it builds it shifts into a more metallic sound. The 3:30 b-vox blows its cover, bringing it back into the realm of progressive rock. (Kind of like THE REASONING or WEST INDIAN GIRL.) Overall a decent, pretty interesting song--thanks to the bass, keys and b-vox. (7/10)

3. "A Homage to a Shame" is the album's metal song. Sorry, "Back in Black" and "Second Life Syndrome" are great, but Metal is just not my cup of tea. (5/10)

4. "Meredith." A true classic of rock and roll music. The repetition of lyrical lines is used so effectively over the simple, beautiful electric guitar arpeggios. And the "I wanna cut you to the bone" lyric is so chilling yet engaging! Great use of effects to treat the vocal--and what emotion-packed singing! Awesome low, low bass throughout. Simple drums. And those two guitar arpeggios in different octaves! Music doesn't get much better than this! (10/10)

5. "Music for a Nurse" is a classic example of pure Math/Post Rock in the MONO/MOGWAI/CASPIAN vein--except for the Jeckyll & Hyde ROBERT SMITH/BONO vocals singing over the top. Great song with a fantastic, crescendoing climax around the 6:30 mark. Fades out with some odd 'nuke the computer' sounds. (8/10)

6. "New Pin" begins with a computer sequenced of computer noises before THE CURE's bass, drums, and guitar rhythm section from "Disintegration" joins in. The vocal is also rather ROBERT SMiTH sounding--at least until the very pretty chorus with rather cheery background singing similar to something like STEREOLAB or IVY comes in. Great song--surprisingly original sounding. (9/10)

7. "No Tomorrow" begins like a pleasant TRAFFIC song before shifting to a near-death metal song for its chorus at the 1:34 and then a little more permanently at the 2:40 mark. Metal sound continues to dominate both musically and in the singing pretty much through to the end. Fitting for the lyrical content, I suppose; just not my choice for 'listening pleasure.' (6/10) 8. "Mine Host" begins with some voice sample sounding like Steven Hawking's computerized voice repeating numbers over a very engaging three-octave keyboard arpeggio which is soon joined by pickings of a dirty electric guitar. At 2:15 drums, bass and a very quite BONO-like half-spoken singing voice begins singing almost beneath the music. Very dreamy, mesmerizing song. (9/10)

9. "You Can't Keep a Bad Man Down" RAGE! I said, RAGE! If you want to jump up and down, scream, break things, bash your walls in, then THIS IS YOUR SONG! (10/10)

10. "Ornament/The Last Wrongs" begins very sedately, gently (especially as compared to the super-adrenaline pumping from the precious song), until at the 2:50 mark the alarm goes off in the form of heavy guitars--which then just as quickly recede while two guitars, a keyboard, and some light drumming play, note-for-note, very gingerly--as if uncertain or afraid to disturb the silence. 5:00 sees a return to heavy guitars until at 5:20 there is a discernable mound and sound shift (must be the transition to the "The Last Wrongs" part of the song). At 5:30 an odd (for this group) kind of early YES- or MOODY BLUES-like chant of harmonizing vocalists sings over both the heavy and soft parts. Ends with a very eery-sounding, 60's-ish organ. (7/10)

Despite the sometimes lean toward the grunge-metal sound, this is a great album: very diverse, very creative. OCEANSIZE has a very original sound and IMHO has created a very distinctive sound and niche in the prog world for itself. They are, in my opinion, one of the few groups pushing the music envelope into new and fresh directions. And Praise Be Odd Time Signatures! A flawed 4.5 star album that I'm going to bump up because of their bold innovativeness, their amazing lyrics and vocal presentations (and I am NOT a lyric person), and their contribution to the true spirit of 'progressive rock' music. Definitely one of my favorite 25 Albums of the Naughties!

Review by Wicket
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 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 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'.

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars Well, it seems I am just not suited to click with these guys. I honestly don't hear the appeal with this band. First of all, the aspects I liked about the debut mainly the psychedelic and spacey effects that they utilized are mostly lacking on this second release EVERYONE INTO POSITION. To me, OCEANSIZE have de-emphasized those psychedelic tendencies and firmly placed themselves into the more alternative rock / metal sound. There is a certain spaciness to be had here and there especially on the slower tracks but by large I find them to sound like a distorted version of Soundgarden mixed with Tool. Two bands that I love, but when I listen to OCEANSIZE I just can't help but want to put on those two bands instead. To be fair this comparison tapers off and I find the tracks towards the end of the album more interesting and they save this from a lower rating.

Once again this album is waaaaaay too long and I find most of the first half repetitve and frankly boring. The variation between the songs isn't as diverse as I would like and the endless repetitive riffing just leaves me a little cold. I just can't connect to their sound as of yet. I realize some bands take a while to connect with if given the proper saturation effect but when it comes to OCEANSIZE I just can't seem to get into it enough to warrant multiple repeated listens when I would rather hear so many other artists. I have been trying to pinpoint exactly what it is that doesn't work for me and I really can't say. I love alternative metal / rock and space rock and post rock and well, pretty much everything that these guys are utilizing in their sound so I can only conclude that some sounds work for some and not for others. I certainly don't think anything on this album is bad. Perhaps it will sink in and i'll wake up one day and like it and want to throw it on again and again. Stranger things have happened. For now only 3 stars.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars If Oceansize's first album was a masterpiece, which it was, then this album is about as close to perfection as anything. What an amazing album. It is a testament that amazing music is still being produced. The genre is still somewhere between post rock and progressive metal. However, the sound is even more dynamic than before, the vocals are improved, even though they were great before, the music is more emotional and there is a more varied sound. The band is definitely doing an excellent job exploring sounds. I feel that in this album, Oceansize found their own sound. Many listeners say it is more straight forward than their previous album, and while that might be true, it is certainly a step forward for them. Their music has been fine tuned to almost perfection.

I really love this album. There is still the hardness from the previous album, but there are some amazing soft parts throughout the album and it rounds things out very well. The album starts out with "The Charm Offensive" which is reminiscent of the debut album and you get the impression that this is going to be great like the last one. You get that post-metal atmosphere but with a lot of expression, great vocals and a lot of ingenuity. In between the first track and the 2nd, there is a hidden track which starts off soft but builds quickly and sounds almost like a return to "The Charm Offensive", but this does have an official title called "emp(erical) error". It is easy to mistake this as an extension of the first track. Next comes "Heaven Alive" which is definitely a more mainstream sounding track, but still an excellent song. The vocals are still to the forefront and there is a nice solid baseline. Towards the last part of the song, the chorus becomes a multi-layered vocal that sounds almost like a choir of sorts that along with that ever present bass line, is an exciting and enticing sound. I love this track. Then you get the last of the 1-2-3 punch with the explosive "A Homage to Shame". This one is a solid track, very hard, very emotional and simply astounding. The multi-layered vocals return here but this time the choir has been turned upside down almost giving an opposite effect of the previous track. This has to be heard. That takes up the first part of the album.

Next we move on to more amazing music, albeit a little more mellow but still with a lot of substance, emotion and excellent musicianship. "Meredith", even though it is not as hard as the previous track, is a very complex song with changing and challenging percussion. The drums throughout this album are just plain awesome, beating out rhythms that normally would not match the meter of the songs at times, but still sounding excellent. It gives the songs a more sense of sophistication and originality, there is just no staleness in this album anyway. After this great track, we get the epic masterpiece and also one of my all time favorite songs "Music for a Nurse." How do you describe this piece of art? Now it seems that Oceansize is digging deeper into the post rock sound, adding some space rock, taking the style of the best Sigur Ros song structure, adding their signature multi-layered voice sound, tuning the vocals down further into the total mix (ala Devin Townsend style) and doing this they created an epic masterpiece that just sends shivers down my spine. The format of the song is pretty typical post-rock structure, starting out soft and simple and building to an amazing climax. The difference here is the beauty of the melody, which is based upon a complex chord structure and repeated with the plucked notes of the guitar strings. This is an old Classical Music style called a Ground where the melody is played by the low notes while other counter-melodies and variations are played around that base. The melody that provides the base for the song is beautiful and when the song starts, it is almost the only thing you hear, very much like a Sigur Ros song. Other guitars and percussion and more multi-layered vocals get added in and keep building the music as the emotions continues to build and the tension rises throughout the song. You end up with an orchestral sounding wall of music. Simply amazing!

Continuing on with the album, you get more amazing music, challenging rhythms in places, from this point of the album, the vocals usually stay mixed into the music so they become part of the entire song. I love this method of mixing the voices down into the music and like I said earlier, this is the same method that Devin Townsend uses and also why I love his sound so much also. The music continues to be excellent and original, but it wasn't enough for Oceansize to have just one epic masterpiece on this album. The last track "Ornaments/The Last Wrongs" is another excellent track and ends the album on a high note. This one is more dependent upon sudden dynamic changes, from soft to hard passages throughout and once again with those amazing multi-layered vocals that I love.

I like to compare this kind of music to Classical Music, but this is Progressive rock's version of Classical. It is complex, dynamic, original, emotional. It has it all. My own personal rating system uses 5 stars like ProgArchives, but I also add a 6th star for the albums that I think are perfect. There are not many albums that I consider 6 star albums, so I don't use it very often, only when I find something simply amazing that moves me beyond words. This is one of those albums. Of course, I can only rate this with 5 stars here, but to me, it is better than the debut album, and that is also a 5 star album. Really, I love this album that much. I love the fact that this band progressed even further than on the previous album, that they have made their own sound here. The previous album was compared to Tool, but this album explores into territory that is only touched by the experts, namely Kayo Dot, Sigur Ros, King Crimson, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and so on. They not only explored these sounds, but they carved their own niche in this music style. Excellent album, definitely essential in my opinion, this one should be considered one of the best modern progressive albums. But that's enough praise from me. Don't keep putting this one off so long like I did. Listen to it and hear the level of emotion present. Even if you aren't dripping with praise the way I am, you will still probably agree that this is some of the best new prog available. 5 glowing stars!

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4 stars I've held back for quite a while before reviewing this album. Not because it has been particularly difficult to get into it, nor because my opinion has changed after repeated listens. This is, without a doubt, an incredibly accomplished follow-up to "Effloresce". Putting this in the context of ... (read more)

Report this review (#299256) | Posted by Warren | Wednesday, September 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Emotion is what this English band know best. From the first second till the last. Technically, excellent vocals (bliss...), stunning guitars with a golden sound, and one of the most talented and modern drum play. A rock influenced metal sound. Groups like Radiohead, Porcupine Tree (I think Gavin ... (read more)

Report this review (#231097) | Posted by mono | Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow. I was first attracted attracted to Oceansize by their name (taken from a Jane's Addiction song), but found them to be something far, far more than JA tribute. Don't be fooled by the space-rock categorization - this album is as diverse as they come. It's got a very strong prog-metal influen ... (read more)

Report this review (#212217) | Posted by The SaidRemark | Thursday, April 23, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In 2005 Oceansize released their strongest album to date - Everyone Into Position. Effloresce was almost a masterpiece, and I really didn’t believe that Oceansize would manage to surpass such a strong album. EIP is a more precise and combined album than Effloresce: Oceansize showed us t ... (read more)

Report this review (#160051) | Posted by Paper Champion | Monday, January 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Extremely good album, and definitely a progression into music of the future. Fans of old style prog rock may not like this, but definitely recommended for those interested in what's happening today. Not sure if it is as good as their first album, which really was a fascinating experience, but t ... (read more)

Report this review (#137049) | Posted by PinkPangolin | Saturday, September 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars OCEANSIZE'S second album does not disappoint! OCEANSIZE demonstrates the multi-layered sound parts that go into making music, and displays each of the band member's talents. This record is generally heavier than their first effort, "Effloresce", and is generally experimental, with crunching gu ... (read more)

Report this review (#117766) | Posted by jikai55 | Monday, April 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is a step backwards for Oceansize. Effloresce, for me, was an awesome work, especially for a debut album. "Everyone Into Position" though, compared to its precessor, seems more like a debut album; lacks creativity and maturity in sound while taking a more "hard rocking" way. The only tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#116050) | Posted by taylanbil | Thursday, March 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After listening to Oceansize's first album Effloresce, I decided to get their new album Everyone into Position when I saw it one day. I didn't expect anything spectacular from their new album, as I liked their first but was not amazed by it. But I have to say, Everyone into Position blew me awa ... (read more)

Report this review (#107904) | Posted by darkmatter | Thursday, January 18, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've been holding off for a while on reviewing this album, because I wanted to be sure that I wouldn't rush in and say the wrong things, not having fully digested the monstrous work. I didn't want to come off as some hectic reviewer so caught up in the rush of something new in his hands that he s ... (read more)

Report this review (#87714) | Posted by DracoMordag | Saturday, August 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I walked past this album a myriad of times during the past two months or so, always wondering what the group actually sounds like. What got me interested in Oceansize was the review given to this album in Mojo of a month or so ago... Four stars? I thought. There have been very few times th ... (read more)

Report this review (#60722) | Posted by | Sunday, December 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I must admit I happened to come across them by chance, but defintely one of my lucky days...! An album of ten very intense pieces, each telling a story and each with its own set of influences.. for example Charm offensive has strong undertowns of late NIN, the warm melody of new pin which stun ... (read more)

Report this review (#48662) | Posted by volponix | Tuesday, September 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A week ago, I'd never hear these guys- a mention on a message forum, a couple of MP3 downloads, some national newspaper reviews and a live concert later, and here I am waiting for HMV to open so I can get my hands on this album! And what an album - I've had the thing on solid rotation for 24 ... (read more)

Report this review (#47434) | Posted by | Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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