Oceansize - Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up
Oceansize are a band that should be huge. Everything about them screams "epic" and with their latest full-length Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up they have outdone everything they've done previously. Years of touring with bands like Porcupine Tree and Biffy Clyro has clearly helped them hone their sound into one totally their own and with this record it shows through in spades.
'Part Cardiac' opens up the album with enormous down-tuned, almost doom sounding riffs as vocalist/guitarist Mike Vennart strains to be heard over the cacophony, continuing the trend of brilliant opening tracks on the band's records. Segueing into 'Superimposer' the band demonstrate their penchant for odd time-signatures but still imbue everything with a sense of melody, avoiding the pitfall of sounding difficult for difficult's sake. An early highlight comes in the form 'Build Us A Rocket Then...', a riff-laden mother of a track that sees each element of the band coming together in a brilliantly natural and syncopated style.
The band continue in typically ambitious form with the piano-driven 'Oscar Acceptance Speech', before it descends into a hail of Mogwai-style post-rock noise and walls of sound. Vennart manages to squeeze every last bit of emotion out of his voice for this track, and his vocals really are on top form. After the fast and frantic freak-out that is 'It's My Tail and I'll Chase It If I Want To', the band become visibly calmer with final ghostly one-two crawl of 'Pine' and 'Superimposter', the former in particular being quite beautiful with its excellent string arrangements.
Oceansize have succeeded in bettering themselves in every way with this record, resulting in easily the most consistent and consistently great album they have ever made. British rock is supposed to be inventive and these guys are flagbearers for a generation of ambitious UK acts, people just haven't realised yet.