Oceansize
Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up


4.0
excellent

Review

by Rob Heald USER (6 Reviews)
September 10th, 2010 | 44 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Oceansize has undoubtedly written their best music on this record, but it remains to be seen if the public can follow the many paths they tread.

Oceansize has made a career to this point by experimenting with three main concepts: minimalism, maximalism, and layering intricate parts vertically. These three divergent paths cause some problems for a band that obviously takes progress very seriously. To go very much further in one direction, they risk completely departing other aspects of their sound. With their ‘Home & Minor’ EP, they were clearly concentrating on their minimalist interests. So recently, we’ve been gifted with their solution to this imbalance, Oceansize’s fourth LP, ‘Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up’.

The album very quickly establishes its territory with the über-maximalist “Part Cardiac”. Simply, the song is a series of cadences that relentlessly pound home in sludgy goodness. It’s really astonishing how grand the effect is, and how simultaneously daunting it can be to listen deeply to it. Soaked with distortion and heavy beats, it should be immediately clear to the listener that this will not be a minimalist experience, and the few tracks that do back away are necessary reprieves to enjoy and rest.*

It’s impressive how little wasted space there is on an album so full of ideas, and the 51-minute album goes by very quickly. “Build Us A Rocket Then...” (awesomely, the full title to this track is “Build Us A Rocket Then, You Rocket-Building Cunt”) is bursting at the seams, yet fits it all into a sub-4 minute song. On the whole, it’s an effective format compared to previous releases. Condensed to such a level, the listener looking for the tricks and technicalities will get a much harder and (hopefully) rewarding task, while the casual listener will get a toe-tapper that can keep his attention for the whole song. Songs like the aforementioned “Build Us...” and “It’s My Tail and I’ll Chase It If I Want To” pile the layers sky high, with impressive performances all around. The tracks that reduce the tempo (“Oscar Acceptance Speech”) and distortion (Ransom, “Pine”) provide some solace, but are well-thought out in their own right. For an album that has so little wasted space, even the reduced parts require a little extra consideration.

If you’re getting the impression that this isn’t an easy listen, you’d be on the right track. It’s thick, complicated, and efficiently written; something that few previous Oceansize tracks have been in the past. Even in the less rambunctious tracks, the amount of sonic diversity requires active participation by the listener. It’s a whirlwind of an album- and it seems as if that is the main achievement and setback of the album. It’s incredibly condensed, and nerds (like me) will gravitate to it and revel in its complex glory. With a little bit of effort put forth, this album returns with exponential levels of satisfaction. However, that same condensation leaves very little breathing room and even less room to settle in and feel comfortable and enjoy listening in even a semi-casual level. Depending on which Oceansize you like best, or how you listen to music in general, it could be a great or terrible experience. Oceansize has undoubtedly written their best music on this record, but it remains to be seen if the public can follow the many paths they tread.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
MorningView425
September 10th 2010


162 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ugh, I wrote this days ago and I'm already the third review...damn you sputnik and your active user base. I found it really hard to rate this album. I've felt very strongly for 3.5, 4, or 4.5, so I went with the average. Numerical ratings mean so little anyway. I'll be really interested to see what people think of this one.

UnnamedOcean
September 10th 2010


3980 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I want to review this but I'm going to give it a while to sink it. I'm sure people who review it right now will change their opinions after a few weeks.

acorncheese
September 10th 2010


7119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm going to review this, but I'm going to write it for a different site.

acorncheese
September 10th 2010


7119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

BTW, this is my favorite review of the three so far. Awesome job, man. Not to say that I didn't enjoy the other ones.

MorningView425
September 11th 2010


162 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the good and bad thing about oceansize fans is that they tend to all be smart enough to write good reviews for them

MaskAtTheMasquerade
September 11th 2010


2888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you did well!

acorncheese
September 14th 2010


7119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

#1 for 2010. Fucking yes.

Yazz_Flute
September 14th 2010


18874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I cannot rank this album for the life of me.

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche

1drummer
September 15th 2010


326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I havent listened to this all the way through yet, so i can't say definitively, but I don't think i like this as much as Frames. The vocal melodies he uses sound too strange sometimes, its almost like they're too rythm based in the lyrics dept. Idk i need to give it another listen...

MorningView425
September 15th 2010


162 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah 1drummbr, that definitely happens with a lot of bands that change around time signature a lot. the melodies themselves aren't really melodic, but they wouldn't really be oceansize if they were tuneful.

1drummer
September 15th 2010


326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, but in tracks like "trail of fire" or "unfamiliar" his melodies are extremely tuneful, and still bouncing around timings. I know every album has a different concept, but i feel like the vocalist seemed to be doing too much sometimes.
Like i said i need to give it solid listen.

AnotherBrick
September 15th 2010


9772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

damnnnnnnn, this has a high rating. i need it

EVedder27
September 15th 2010


6088 Comments


yeah you do Brick

AnotherBrick
September 15th 2010


9772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

how do you compare it to their others?

EVedder27
September 15th 2010


6088 Comments


that's a question for someone else cause this is the first thing I've heard from this band

acorncheese
September 15th 2010


7119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Still very early, so it's somewhat hard to tell, but it's turning out to be up there with the rest of their albums. I've had years to create memories and attachment to the others, so it really is impossible to say right now. As far as quality, it's right there with the rest, though some might argue (and they'd be right) that Frames, musically, is easily their best.

It's a fucking quality album, put it that way.

MorningView425
September 16th 2010


162 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

brick, it's definitely the heaviest of their albums. everyone into position had some pretty heavy moments, but this is heavy in a less coherent manner. the quality is awesome, but you'll enjoy this album the most if you dig experimenting with structure, dissonance, and effects.

1drummer
September 16th 2010


326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

After a solid listen I realized The Later half of the album is much stronger than the first half. Silent/Transparent is fucking sick, but im sure the whole thing will grow on me. Its a 3.5 atm.

beefshoes
September 17th 2010


4353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The outro to Oscar Acceptance Speech is so amazing.

Digging: Christopher Lee - A Heavy Metal Christmas

UnnamedOcean
September 18th 2010


3980 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So I just realized how amazing Ransoms is and why everyone loves it so much. On first listen it wasn't much, but now I realize how beautiful of a song it is.



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