Oceansize - Koko, London

Oceansize have been on a steady rise since the release of their debut album back in 2003, but with this month's release of fourth album Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up the band have really hit a new high, both in terms of popularity and creativity. Koko in London is the venue for tonight’s celebration of sorts, but first up is Yndi Halda. Having been away for a couple of years, it’s nice to see the band bringing their post-rock noodling to the stage again, their string-drenched epics demonstrating all the best bits about the genre. Unfortunately the band are forced to cut short their set due to tonight’s early curfew and stringent set times, much to the dismay of the growing throng. Next up is Oxford’s This Town Needs Guns, a veritable force of emotive vocals and math-rock time signatures. The band have been touring quite a bit since the release of their album Animals last year, and tonight sees them on fine form, even ending with new track ‘Al Fresco’ which bodes well for the next release.

Oceansize arrive on stage to the crushingly heavy chords of new album opening track ‘Part Cardiac’, and from this moment the crowd stand mesmerised. Continuing straight into ‘Superimposer’, it’s clear that the band are really enjoying playing the new tracks live, and rightly so. Their intricate composition, off beat nature and at times brutally heavy sound filling the first quarter of the set, including a brilliant ‘Build Us A Rocket Then’.

But we get some of the more restrained classics from their repertoire too, with ‘Music For A Nurse’ lulling the crowd into a dreamlike state with the chiming guitar melodies and stunning crescendos. ‘Silent/Transparent’ is given an airing as well, coming across even better live than it does on record and provoking a huge reaction from the lucky people in the crowd tonight. The last time the band played in London, many people were disappointed with the fact they didn’t end with ‘Ornaments/The Last Wrongs’, and it seems they missed it as well as the track descends into a joyous cacophony of distortion.

Returning on stage for a deafening encore, tonight Oceansize are kings. Sublime musicianship, and packing an emotional punch which many progressive bands lack, tonight the five-piece demonstrate what a vital and uncompromising live act they truly are.

Last updated: 18/04/2018 14:26:13

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