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The Ovals

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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The Ovals Inner Space album cover
3.64 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews | 44% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mars (6:28)
2. Elements Outside My Control (7:10)
3. Always (6:17)
4. Room With A View (6:20)
5. Secret Track (6:59)

Total Time 33:14

Line-up / Musicians

- David Kalkman / synthesizer, keyboards
- Tadhg Neal / guitars
- Duane Manning / drums
- Danny Hughes / bass

Releases information

CD Self-released (2009)
Downloadable on CDBaby

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THE OVALS Inner Space ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE OVALS Inner Space reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars Not mainstream but colourful delicious Space Rock they push forward!

The occasionally-pitchshifted spacey rhythm section, Tadhg's bluesy guitar, and David's dreamy, delightful keyboard & synth solo ... all of them create a fantasy called The OVALS. First, Mars with echoic sounds by all instruments and voices, and with a bit stoner atmosphere, can stick us onto the dreamy star Mars. Also mellow, flexible chorus can be nutrition for our mind-ground. (Anyway, whose voice is this?) The latter part can remind me (a Japanese) Japanese enka flavour with elegantly tragic nobility. The next Elements Outside My Control drops deeply, deeply heavy sound-bomb onto us directly ... all of their items are completely exploded perfectly but gracefully. The wonderful point is such a heavy song can be seasoned with much beautiful melody and essence. David's simple organ solo absorbs our whole inner space in the song Always. Of course, his organ should be held tightly by Duane & Danny's solid rhythm section like a shining star. And their attitude goes smoothly ahead into the last dramatic song Room With A View ... and moreover, Secret Track is a twisted and whacked psychedelic tour ... exactly oval overtone.


Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars "Inner Space" by The Ovals is a spacey trippy release with some innovative ideas bordering on early Pink Floyd influences and Hawkwind.

The Australian band The Ovals hail from the new psychedelic wave where the music becomes part of the consciousness. The lyrics are fairly much based on ideas of entering planetary or cosmic levels of existence. Perhaps there are science fiction elements hidden in the music such as 'Room with a View' with a title reminding me of the fascinating puzzle at the ending of '2001: A Space Odyssey'. I love the whole atmosphere on this album which is very spacey and psychedelic. Each song offers a trippy journey that centres around lengthy instrumentation and acid rock psych prog influences.

'Mars' has a wonderful retro Hammond sound and a strong upbeat tempo, reminding me of The Doors and there are some eclectic musical passages with very pleasant harmonised vocals; "we must face a whole new dawn, hope lies in the sun, we must travel very far". There is a vocal effect that sounds like mission control Nasa overseeing a space mission. The lyrics and swooshing effects confirm the outer space theme; "I can see the earth so far away."

'Elements Outside My Control' is a long song on this album at just over 7 minutes. It is driven with a moderate tempo, a very cool bassline and synth swirls, jazz hi hat cymbal work and spaced out guitar licks. The staccato blasts of power organ are simply excellent musicianship. The track is compelling and really grows on you. The instrumental section fades down and an ethereal atmosphere settles in, reminding me of the stark cold synth lines of Gary Numan's music, and that is a delight to my ears. The jazzy percussion is accompanied by layer upon layer of ambient key pads, a Pink Floyd style guitar solo and a consistent pulsating bass. The music is very relaxing, and yet never dull. The space effects of descending squiggles, Hawkwind style swirls and a rock beat make a fabulous combination. It takes till 5:20 before the vocals come in. The lyrics are a bit like Hawkwind or Diagonal; "feeling happy feeling blue, this is cosmic deja vu, in a place and we're in space," and then we have a delightful end with a strong melody.

'Always' begins with a solid punctuated organ motif after an effect of someone running to somewhere. The science fiction sounds soon come in and a rather pretty melody. The lyrics are as estranged as before and have a strong rhyme and are repeated over and over, words such as 'Subsistence' are rhymed with 'existence'. The tempo picks up pace with a marching beat and some layered synthesizers. The melody is infectious and once again like the 60s sound of The Doors. The retro sound that the band generates is simply a delight.

'Room With A View' has a strong melody that motorvates along with very bold synthlines and a potent lyric; "we're going away for a while, we're leaving you with a room with a view, we're going away for a while, but don't do anything to start a fire". The instrumental break continues for a lengthy time and features spacey synths and a bass heart beat, with sporadic drum patterns. At 4 minutes the song completely settles into a dreamy slow pace and a trippy vocal; "and the hour of consciousness, the meaning is in my head." The violining guitar is simply wonderful and then the effect of a Nasa rocket lifting off with voices stating that "it looks good so far rising into the clear blue Florida sky."

The 'Secret Track' is a 7 minute curiosity and when I first heard it I disliked it as it was a real off kilter experimental piece with a lot of repetition. But when I realised it was a ghost track I was more forgiving as it is really just a bonus addition as all secret tracks are. There are some seagull effects and a rather pleasant guitar picking passage.

Overall my first experience with The Ovals has been a delight. I loved the spaceyness of the music and the no compromise psychedelic approach to the music. The songs are well sung and have a compelling structure. I would have liked the EP to go longer and have more innovative instrumental sections. In essence it is certainly a release that I have never tired of after 5 listens and I believe it is a sound worth returning to often.

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