Polyenso
One Big Particular Loop


4.0
excellent

Review

by Daniel Roe USER (1 Reviews)
March 5th, 2013 | 57 replies | 15,720 views


Release Date: 01/22/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Did you hear what I made you do, and what you're doing to me?"

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

It was only a matter of time until Oceana changed their name. The release of their ambient metalcore debut, The Tide, was shortly followed by the departure of vocalist Keith Jones and drummer James O'Brien. Brennan Taulbe, originally brought in to play guitar and keyboard, became full-time vocalist for Birth. Eater, their darker, more lyrically driven follow up. Only 24 days after its release, though, Oceana announced their break up. Various new projects with new sounds were formed, but were short-lived. Oceana had reunited by October. By May they had released the Clean Head EP, their finest work at that point. It was a sonic departure; a cleaner, more personal and progressive sound that severed all metalcore roots of their past, and did so convincingly. A new LP was promised within a year, but the date was continually pushed back as they wrote, changed their line up, re-wrote, left Rise Records, changed their line up some more, and re-re-wrote. By this point, after writing for over two years and with only one original member left, the Oceana that finally announced One Big Particular Loop were a different band to the Oceana that started in 2007.

Now Polyenso, One Big Particular Loop - their long-awaited, fan-funded and self-released 'debut' - displays a sound so inventive and so far removed from anything Oceana created that releasing it under a new name, free from any label associations, is the only logical step, at least while we figure out what to actually do with it. It's like Clean Head spent a season immersed in New Orleans funk and jazz festivals, and then filtered those experiences through the meticulous, almost scientific approach of Radiohead. Comparisons to Radiohead are inevitable, partly because OBPL has clear Kid A and In Rainbows influences and is immersive in a similar way, but also because Brennan Tauble sounds like Thom Yorke's more soulful American cousin. Having developed his vocals beyond simply screaming then singing, the improvement in his voice is remarkable. His voice is now silky smooth, and the transitions between his tenor and newly-found higher register are angelic, even as he reaches to realms of falsetto. Despite similarities, though, comparisons between Polyenso and Radiohead are passing observations rather than hindrances on the album's listening experience.

Taking influences from jazz, funk and soul music, the vast array of instruments have seemingly been afforded freedom to wander as they colour in the canvas built by the wonderfully intricate rhythm section. Even Taulbe's vocals, as charming and welcoming as they are, are often more a texture in the soundscapes than emotionally revealing. The atmospheres created in songs such as "Dog Radio", "Push" and "Meeting Grey (Cricket)" are good examples of the band's ability to paint soulful soundscapes in a way that belies their tender years, while Taulbe's vocal range in "Pocket Soul" is mesmerizing in its motions from dark to beautiful, even recalling Thom Yorke at his best as it melts into the instrumentation around it.

This record flows so seamlessly that, once you're lost in its soundscapes, it's easy to forget it has taken years to piece together. For that, the impeccable production of Matt Goldman - arguably the finest of his career - deserves a lot of praise. There's so much going on in every song, yet no element gets lost - the record is perfectly balanced and poised throughout. Opener "((O.B.P.L.", the first and finest example of how great the production is, brilliantly combines the essence of the album in just four minutes by introducing each element record one-by-one: it's synthesized intro, the looped tribal rhythm section, delicate piano and guitar lines, a celebratory, festival-esque trumpet concluding with Taulbe's beautiful vocals atop the flawless instrumental composition. The album's standout track "Always Ending In You", Polyenso's masterpiece and a contender for 2013's most affecting song, features an impressive juxtaposition between immaculately constructed layers of ambient, chilled out rhythms with the desperate solitary trumpet and longing hook of "No one feels you like I do". While it would be a fitting closer, "Be Too Well (Always)" is a deserved lap of honour and the actual closer "Doom))", little more than the rest of the band clearing the instruments out of the room as Taulbe plays piano, is a worthy end as it's so intimate it becomes eerily moving.

Often verging on brilliance yet never settling for anything below excellence, One Big Particular Loop stands as an exhibition in severing your roots and reinventing yourself. Playing as one continuous gorgeous motion, it's immersive, texturally rich and brimming with creativity and ideas, astutely tied together by Matt Goldman's production masterclass. Years in the making and 58 minutes long, One Big Particular Loop isn't escaping any accusations of indulgence. However, when you're as talented as Polyenso are, a little indulgence only adds to your beauty.


user ratings (178)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Timothy Michael James Eugene Stephan Wilbert Bartolini III (3.5)
One Big Particular Loop is a great record from a band that, once again, sounds as though they are ju...


Comments:Add a Comment 
AlecBaldwin
March 5th 2013



147 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Obligatory also posted on Rockfreaks.net

First submitted review. Any thoughts or criticisms welcome.

CK
March 5th 2013



4532 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Taking influences from jazz, funk and soul music"

And Radiohead


But yes, good review. Very straight-forward

AlecBaldwin
March 5th 2013



147 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Thanks!

chambered99
March 5th 2013



717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeaaaa buddy good review

Hopelust
March 5th 2013



810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love the horns in this album.

sixdegrees
March 5th 2013



15777 Comments


album could use some trimming but there's lots of potential here. good first review, pos'd

Digging: Tam Tam - Polarize

Hopelust
March 5th 2013



810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Trimming in what way?

sixdegrees
March 5th 2013



15777 Comments


I dunno, some songs sound kinda samey or drag on too long. been a while since i've listened to this :/

Hopelust
March 5th 2013



810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ahh fair enough. I was just curious. the term trimming was somewhat vague in its context.

AlecBaldwin
March 5th 2013



147 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the comments guys. Any thoughts on improving?

Hopelust
March 6th 2013



810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nope. Read pretty well to me.

CrownOfMagnets
March 15th 2013



2191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this band is slowly becoming one of my favorites

dixoncocks
March 18th 2013



2371 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pocket soul has to be my favorite on the album. And I agree if meeting grey was like 2 minutes shorter, it would be phenomenal but I wouldn't trim much else on the album.

Digging: Manchester Orchestra - Cope

hykinix
April 13th 2013



187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This record is amazing. Very solid stuff all throughout. Didn't drag on at all, in my view, but I was enjoying tea on a rainy day as I first listened. Probably the right mood for a record with this sort of meandering quality.

chambered99
April 13th 2013



717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

some great tracks here

tcat84
April 24th 2013



795 Comments


sounds a lot like alt-j at times, finishes stronger than it begins

kingjulian
April 24th 2013



1291 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dig most of this album, but I kind of hate the last song. The piano is cool, but I feel like I've heard the whole "let's set up a mic in the studio and have people walk around and open and close squeeky doors and sniffle and stuff" thing a million times.

AlecBaldwin
April 30th 2013



147 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I get what you're saying kingjulian, but the idea was that Brennan would play the piano while the rest of the band clear the instruments out of the room.

Hopelust
May 2nd 2013



810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Interesting. How did you come upon this information?

chambered99
May 3rd 2013



717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

truly great stuff here



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