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NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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North Atlantic Oscillation biography
This trio herald from Scotland UK comprising of Sam Healy (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, synthesizer, saxophone, percussion), Ben Martin (drums, percussion, programming), Bill Walsh (bass, synthesizer, vocals).Formed in 2005 in Edinburgh, their music can be best described as Post Progressive with great electronic hooks and atmospherically layered sounds, not to mention almost the harmony of a Beach Boys vocal influence. A perfect match therefore for Crossover Prog, the band has currently been touring with Porcupine Tree and Explosions In The Sky amongst others

They released the widely regarded Callsigns EP in 2009. In 2010 their new studio album Grappling Hooks was released.

North Atlantic Oscillation official website

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Calling SignsCalling Signs
EP · Import
Kscope Import 2013
Audio CD$6.48
$7.81 (used)
Fog ElectricFog Electric
Alliance 2012
Audio CD$13.17
$11.61 (used)
Grappling HooksGrappling Hooks
KSCOPE 2011
Audio CD$9.35
$8.01 (used)
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NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION shows & tickets


  • North Atlantic Oscillation at Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne on 21 Oct 2014
  • North Atlantic Oscillation at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London on 22 Oct 2014
  • North Atlantic Oscillation at The Soup Kitchen, Manchester on 23 Oct 2014
  • North Atlantic Oscillation at The Oobleck, Birmingham on 24 Oct 2014

NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION discography


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NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 55 ratings
Grappling Hooks
2010
3.44 | 34 ratings
Fog Electric
2012

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3.50 | 6 ratings
Callsigns
2009

NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fog Electric by NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.44 | 34 ratings

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Fog Electric
North Atlantic Oscillation Crossover Prog

Review by LakeGlade12

4 stars 3.5 Stars. Expert with high energy

Fog Electric is the second album from alternative-prog band North Atlantic Oscillation and sees them settling down into a more focused and consistent sound compared to their first album. This comes with the benefit of better flow and a concept-album feel, however they could also be accused of writing songs with not enough variety between them and they are definitely predictable. This is a fast paced and noisy album, the band loves to shower the listener with hard hitting but catchy electronic rock while Chris Howard sings with in a level headed, almost robotic voice.

"Soft Coda" begins with some haunting wordless harmonies before settling into a fast and restless rhythm. There are fluctuations in energy between the verses and choruses but the general nature is a controlled hyperactivity with lots of things happening but the band never let things become chaotic. The song finishes with a intense instrumental. Its worth saying that the music on this album is never aggressive, only very energetic and LOAD.

"Chirality" begins much more delicately and has a almost ballet type feel to it at the beginning. Emotion is present here but the sleek production and Howard's voice gives it a artificial tone. Not necessarily in a negative way but this may put off some listeners. The intro is short lived and the second half of the song ia a steady build-up which gives way to another noisy closer. The lyrics on this song and album are very complicated (Yes without the new-age) so unless you have a passion for literature don't expect to understand or fully appreciate the words.

"Mirador" has a more epic type feel compared to the other songs even though its length is average. The song focuses on drama instead of noise and is the most coherent song so far. The lyrics refer to the title of this album and "fog electric" is probably the best adjective to describe this track. There is a ominous and mysterious feel, but there is plenty of energy and brightness to the sound. Cool song.

"Empire Waste" is a song of two halves. The first is another fast paced electronic rock track (getting a bit bored at this point) which is at maximum volume. The second half is very different as the band finally settle into a gentle and beautiful melody. I wish there were more quiet moments like this on the album because they do have a talent for beautiful songs. At least they draw out this section so it can be properly enjoyed.

"Savage With Barometer" snaps you out of the gentle atmosphere and blasts you with gritty and harsh noise, in fact this is the noisiest song on the album. It reminds me of God Speed You! Black Emperor's most recent album where they craft songs out of chaotic noise, although this song does not go to such extremes. Behind the noise is a relatively simple but catchy song and again the singing is very controlled and restrained. It makes for a interesting and quite unique contrast when compared with the chaotic and random noises.

"Interval" is rich in atmosphere and suspension and is effectively one big build-up. It has a almost psychedelic sound due to the heavy distortion and sound effects although the modern sleek edge that dominates this album is never lost. Sadly the fantastic build-up leads to nothing which is a shame as it could have been something amazing.

"Expert With Altimeter" is the most cheerful and poppy song here and would fit very nicely in many alternative rock albums. While being just as noisy as most of the other songs there is a greater focus on melody and vocals which explains why it is more assessable. This should be a great crowd pleaser during tours.

"The Receiver" is probably the most Proggy song on the album and is made of multiple sections that are all well joint together. While being more complex then the other songs the journey is the same, a quiet beginning with a steady build-up which finishes with intense post-rock style playing at the end. That does not stop it from being a enjoyable song and there are links in themes to previous songs, therefore making it the climax of the album and a highlight for sure.

"Downhill" as the name indicates is a gloomier finish to the album. Unlike the other songs it is low energy and much more restrained, however this matches the lyrics which are about the gradual ruin of the machine that keeps the crew men alive. Its not a Prog song by any means, just alternative rock with some smart elements. There is also a reprise of the vocal harmony that started the album which makes for a nice finishing touch. There is a bonus track which consists of mainly ambient music and is nothing special.

Rating this album is difficult as objectively I would give this 3 stars due to it not being essential in any way and Prog purists won't have enough to sink their teeth into. However I listened to this album a lot in 2012 when I got it and despite being repetitive and predictable I was not easily bored which is a credit to the band. 3.5 stars is exactly what it deserves but I will round up this time because they are talented and deserve some more exposure.

Recommended for listeners who want intelligent but easy to absorb and energetic rock. I would also strongly recommend it to people who are also fans of alternative rock. While not amazing this album is very solid and stands up well to repeated listens. Give it a go!

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 Fog Electric by NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.44 | 34 ratings

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Fog Electric
North Atlantic Oscillation Crossover Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

3 stars This is not a progressive album, this goes more to the alternative music. I feel it more in the vein of THE FLAMING LIPS than Radiohead, for instance. Yet, the album is good, really audible, it has very good moments. The songs have good passages that at times it could give the sense you are listening to a post rock album, pretty similar to Sigur Ros when using voices and some environmental sounds. All the songs have the same style; the production is really good, considering K-Scope as the discography house. Something acceptable is the mood established in the album which is really appropriate for the cover, which makes you imagine a real Fog Electric.

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 Grappling Hooks by NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Grappling Hooks
North Atlantic Oscillation Crossover Prog

Review by ole-the-first

4 stars A strange, unique blend of indie electronics with art rock is what North Atlantic Oscillation provides us on their debut full-length album 'Grappling Hooks'. I've heard about this band after they did a remix of Steven Wilson's 'Postcard', and decided to check them out.

This record is full of electronic sounds which could sound a bit poppy in other people's hands, but very smart and witty production makes a worthy thing out of it all. The first thing I can compare with this album is "Kid A" by Radiohead: the whole approach to music seems to me a bit similar (and track 'Audioplastic' sometimes remided me of 'Idioteque').

North Atlantic Oscillation's music is not very hard to understand, though it's not as simple as you might think. Spacey keyboards, interesting rhythms (like in 'Some Blue Hive', which is one of highlights here), beautiful melodies, great atmosphere.

Definitely an album you should listen if you're a fan of Radiohead, alternative pop/rock or just lover of bizarre and beautiful art rock music.

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 Grappling Hooks by NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Grappling Hooks
North Atlantic Oscillation Crossover Prog

Review by Cinema

4 stars Really 4.5 stars. I just recently discovered NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION and all I can say is WOW, these guys are brilliant. The music is very fresh, boasts near immediate accessibility, and sports great song writing and musicianship. My only complaint has to do with the album's first track, Marrow. This plucky little number only runs 2:04 ? and therein lies my rub. It's way too short. It could easily be double or triple that time and still be an interesting listen from start to finish. If you like bands such as Porcupine Tree and Oceansize, great harmonies, and a nearly 'raw' sound to the music's production, you'll love NAO. These guys need a lot more attention, and I can't wait for their next album.

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 Grappling Hooks by NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.73 | 55 ratings

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Grappling Hooks
North Atlantic Oscillation Crossover Prog

Review by DepthCharge

4 stars Grappling Hooks indeed...

This album is a fine example of how to make a seemingly unmeshable bunch of ingredients actually work. Productionwise, you have almost garage sounding drums, vocal harmonies reminiscent of the Beach Boys, unpolished analogue synths that wouldn't sound out of place on any mid-seventies electronic album as well as a fair share of heavy guitar riffing. Add to that the impression that in terms of style Grappling Hooks may seem a bit directionless. There is, for instance, the very accessible Cell Count single with it's catchy chorus hooks, the (intentionally?) hilarious oddity of Audioplastic, as well as some really beautiful and atmospheric gems like Alexanderplatz and Drawing Maps from Memory... songs that fall somewhat inbetween those like Some Blue Hive... And then there's the instrumental Star Chamber which is likely to be a real love and/or hate it song. The best way I could describe that one is that it tends to get on my nerves in a pleasant sort of way.

This album is rather easy to digest, but still has a lot of growing potential as well. It's nothing extreme by any means, not the most suitable release for mathcore/progmetal/Berklee School of Shredding lovers... instead it's refreshing, lush, beautiful, odd, and just plain fun. And most of all, _very_ undeserving to become yet another overlooked gem. Which seems a bit likely due to the very few ratings it got so far here on PA. Highly recommended to those who'd like to experience that indie/alternative/post-prog actually CAN put a smile on your face. 4,5 stars actually.

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Thanks to chris s for the artist addition.

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