Review Summary: Oceansize once again display their versatility and quality simultaneously
Oceansize’s debut album, Effloresce
was something of a magic album for me; the variety of sounds and emotions displayed took me aback and the consistency of it simply blew me away; it didn’t take me long to realise that they were a band full of good ideas that knew exactly how to turn them into incredible songs. On Everyone Into Position
, it is clear that they are still in essence the same band that wrote Effloresce
, but have composed an album with a very different overall feel.
Opener The Charm Offensive
gives an insight into exactly what has changed; it doesn’t explode in the same way that songs like Catalyst
did, but instead it cruises along at its own pace with groove and swagger; nothing sounds rushed or forced – it’s a rock jam that rises and falls as feels right, using varied dynamics and a sluggishly infectious distorted riff. Therefore, whereas Effloresce would succeed through songs that would build up to huge moments and powerful climaxes, Everyone Into Position is a more subtle beast that uses contrasting dynamics less obviously and features songs that feel like a slicker whole. The same can be said for the album, which in this sense is very much a sum of its parts, since it sounds a lot more cohesive that Effloresce, which jumped around from the metal of You Wish
to the dark alternative of One Day All this Could Be Yours
to the stadium-filling rock of Amputee
; the most strikingly different song here is A Homage to a Shame
, which is easily the heaviest song, but despite this, it still manages to fit in well with the rest of the album.
The last paragraph might make Everyone Into Position
sound slightly monotonous, but this is not at all the case (it displays variation, but not in such a blindingly obvious manner as Effloresce
); the soft, haunting Meredith
may sound nothing like the grandiose You Can’t Keep a Bad Man Down
, but after hearing either of them the listener will be left with a similar feeling of having been emotionally drained and amazed; they are achieving the same effect through a variety of songs.
The highlights of the album appear in the form of the aforementioned groove of opener The Charm Offensive
, Heaven Alive
, which features a strong rhythm section and a powerful chorus, Meredith
, which has a quite a creepy, haunting vibe and features the chilling line “Oh how I’d cut you to the bone” and the fantastic Music For a Nurse
, which will appeal greatly to fans of Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs
due to its dreamy post-rock style and wondrously beautiful sound, enhanced by lyrics such as “And if I display just a fraction of the soul you showed in this world/Then I know I’ll see you again”. However, the best moment of the album is undoubtedly the closer Ornament/The Last Wrongs
, for which everything I've said about this album can be disregarded; it would fit right into Effloresce due to its hugely contrasting dynamics and massively powerful scope; it is composed of a five minute instrumental intro that combines soothing clean melodies with distorted chords that seem to fly out of nowhere, which then moves on to the vocal highlight of the album; Mike Vennart is a fantastic singer and really shows it here in one of his most passionate, beautiful and overall epic deliveries to date. I couldn't think of a better way to end the album and highly recommend this song to anyone.
With Everyone Into Position
Oceansize aimed for a more accessible album with potential radio hits, and whilst they failed in this regard, they certainly came up with something remarkable. It does have flaws – some songs are reasonably forgettable ([/i]New Pin[/i], Mine Host
) even though they are enjoyable to listen to, and the 68 minute run-time is a little steep – but it’s well worth checking out regardless.
Great vocals, imaginative instrumentation
The beautiful moments are mindblowing
Some forgettable tracks
Not as good as Effloresce (but it tries its best)
1. Ornament/The Last Wrongs
2. Music for a Nurse
3. The Charm Offensive
5. Heaven Alive