Oceansize
Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
September 9th, 2010 | 188 replies | 31,130 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Finally, time for something not-so-completely different.

Constantly (and usually haphazardly) slapped with the "prog" label, Manchester 5-piece Oceansize have made reinventing themselves habit over the past decade. 2003's Effloresce, a masterpiece in its own right, bled the post-rock popular for its time, yet tempered the sound to befit their grunge core. This synthesis proved to be a tall order to live up to. Instead of expanding the sonic offering of their debut, they proceeded to release two completely different records; Everyone Into Position was a somewhat successful foray into pop, whereas Frames was a polar opposite scatterbrained affair.

Preceded by typical any-band promises of better/faster/stronger, it's actually refreshing that Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up doesn't try to reinvent the wheel yet again. If anything, it iterates 2010's take on ridiculous album titles while quite-possibly being the first logical Oceansize follow-up ever. Comparatively, Self Preserved is a more condensed and focused extension of Frames. Opener "Part Cardiac" offers a dissonant and chaotic take on sludge, while bringing atmosphere center-stage and avoiding heavy for sake of heavy gimmickry. This kicks off an epic string of tracks with space-rock anthem "Superimposer", the poly-rhythmic destruction of "Build Us a Rocket Then...", and the poppy atmospherics of "Oscar Acceptance Speech" - a 4-track sequence worth the price of the record alone.

Chronologically, the major problem with Self Preserved becomes apparent soon thereafter; poor pacing brings to head a mid-album doldrums. "Ransoms", "A Penny's Weight", and "Silent/transparent" may individually stand well on their own, but coupled with the coma-inducing outro of "Oscar Acceptance Speech", a listener will be hard-pressed to maintain focus/consciousness through this mid-section. It truly is unfortunate, as a simple reorganization here could do wonders for pacing and be less off-putting to those still rocking out to the opening trio. "It's My Tail" manages to make up for this lull with another explosive space-rock offering before yielding to a pair of worthless outro compositions.

Regardless, Oceansize show some true maturity in their fourth outing. Forgoing the delusions of faux-artistry and grandeur from their previous two outings, Self Preserved brings a sense of continuity to their discography that had never existed previously. No doubt, Oceansize's rabid fan-base will lap this up, while new listeners alike will find it enjoyable.



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user ratings (352)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • MikeM (4)
    Music can still be made with real passion, and the results are spectacular....

    froghawk (3.5)
    A strange, rewarding journey with a little bit too much filler....

    James OBrien (4.5)
    Self Preserved is a complicated release. The evolution on this record will take both avid ...

    Sam Feldman's Rating (4.5)
    ...

  • Rob Heald (4)
    Oceansize has undoubtedly written their best music on this record, but it remains to be se...


Comments:Add a Comment 
kingsoby1
Emeritus
September 9th 2010



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My recommended track sequencing:

1 - Part Cardiac
2 - Superimposer
3 - A Penny's Weight
4 - Build Us a Rocket Then...
5 - Silent/Transparent
6 - Ransoms
7 - It's My Tail
8 - Oscar Acceptance Speech

Omit Pine and Superimposter all together, ha

Yazz_Flute
September 9th 2010



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Pine was supposed to be one of the better tracks I thought, what's wrong with the last two songs?


Digging: Eskaton - 4 Visions

kingsoby1
Emeritus
September 9th 2010



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pine is very bland and lacks any kind of use of dynamicsreally

superimposter is kind of like a weird interpretation of bluegrass

crazyblinddude
September 9th 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. You definitely got the 4 track sequence part right. I do wish the final song was one of the standout tracks. It usually was on all of their other albums.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
September 9th 2010



10592 Comments


was just about to write a review for this lol, now I don't have to! Awesome review, agree with everything

acorncheese
September 9th 2010



7119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh shit! A review! I'm planning to review it when I get my copy in the mail (abstaining until then). Going to review it for a different site.

Yazz_Flute
September 9th 2010



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ugh yeah, Long Forgotten, Ornament/The Last Wrongs, and The Frame are all among the band's strongest songs. Hoping this won't disappoint when it comes.

acorncheese
September 9th 2010



7119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ It won't! Our ears will be rewarded grandly when we finally get out CDs.

crazyblinddude
September 9th 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It wasn't a bad song, it just could have been immensely better. It doesn't finish with that whole climax you get with all the other closers.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
September 9th 2010



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oscar Acceptance would be a MUCH better closer

crazyblinddude
September 9th 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I personally think Silent/Transparent would've fit nicely as the closer, but both are better choices.

acorncheese
September 9th 2010



7119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm most anticipating Superimposter. It sounds like such an odd choice for an album closer. As has been stated, their album closers are usually fucking EPIC. So curious to hear this new approach.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
September 9th 2010



10592 Comments


Don't expect too much, Superimposter is pretty weak

Spare
September 9th 2010



5271 Comments


always thought this band were nothing really too special but did their thang pretty well. might get this.

UnnamedOcean
September 9th 2010



3965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm still impatiently waiting for my album to arrive. I've already heard half of it already, though, and I love it. I actually enjoyed SuperImposter. Though I can't recall the melody since I haven't listened to it enough. I'm sure the songs you guys dont like are just growers. Nobody seemed to like SuperImposer at first listen, after all.

multipleofone
September 9th 2010



79 Comments


You've only heard half and you've already rated it a 5?
You're gonna have to get ready to raise that to 10 when you hear the rest of the album

acorncheese
September 9th 2010



7119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

kdjfslafdsfdsfdsfdsfdf

acorncheese
September 9th 2010



7119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've rated it a 5 and I haven't heard one fucking second of it. However, I, as well as UnnamedOcean (I'm assuming), just have an extremely deep-seated love for Oceansize. They've been my absolute favorite band for the last four and a half/five years and have never disappointed me before. I'll admit that I'm incredibly biased in rating them, but these are personal ratings, afterall. I already have a strong love for this album and I haven't even heard it yet. It's been an awesome process, as it always is, in the
months before an Oceansize release. It may sound stupid, but Oceansize is more like a lifestyle than a band to some of us. We follow the band on twitter, browse the fan forum each day (which the band members post on). Anyway, the point is, this band is very, very, incredibly personal to some of us. /fucking geek.


SeanFracture
September 9th 2010



35 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You crazy - Pine and Superimposter are cracking tracks. I will admit, though, that Superimposter is not up to the usual 'Size standards of absolutely devastating closers. Still, I get goosebumps when it creeps up to the distorted bit, but I just wish it would last a little longer. As for Pine, it's just gorgeous start to finish, lovely lyrics and beautiful melodies.

And, don't have an issue with the string outro of OAC, it's just the icing on a tasty cake. The way the two vocal lines intertwine at the end is one of the most amazing things Oceansize have ever done.

Good review, though.

STOP SHOUTING!
September 9th 2010



631 Comments


i don't understand why this band is so highly rated. maybe i should try them again.



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