Nothing Collapses

Written by: DR on 01/09/2009 00:19:10

"Nothing Collapses" is the debut from Chicago post-rock outfit Oceans. Establishing yourself and gaining a foothold in such a genre as post-rock is difficult, to say the least; not every band will have the same impact as Caspian and their "The Four Trees" release. It may seem odd comparing Oceans to another band in the opening paragraph of this review, but my reasoning is Oceans sound similar TO Caspian, and the latter have pretty much set the benchmark for modern post-rock bands, not to mention that "Nothing Collapses" and "The Four Trees" have almost identical run times. When any album runs for sixty minutes, it needs to engage you completely or it runs the risk of becoming tedious and losing your interest. Does "Nothing Collapses" hold your attention for the hour, allowing the time to fly by? No, not quite. It's not a bad album, not by any means; at its worst its decent, but at its best its only quite good.

"Lit Up Under Streetlights" gets proceedings under way, shooting for crescendo territory, but throughout the entire eight minutes it seems to be constantly building towards the big finish - but the song ends before it ever reaches it. Ironically, it's the sparsely used vocals that bring the best out of the musicianship on songs such as "Boy Detective" and impressive album closer "Your Plane Leaves Tomorrow". The production doesn't exactly help either, sounding spacious and nowhere near as tight as one would hope. Furthermore, and this may seem woefully trivial, but post-rock songs should have awe inspiring names such as Explosions In The Sky's "First Breath After Coma" or "They Move On Tracks Of Never-Ending Light" by This Will Destroy You, something that arouses the mind, track titles like "Lit Up Under Streetlights" and "Terrified of What We Might Become" aren't quite up to that level.

Post-rock is a very difficult genre to get right, there's a fine line between being boring and being beautiful. "Nothing Collapses" doesn't really fit exclusively in either category, which for a debut is just about acceptable but there isn't enough ambition shown here, nothing to set them apart from their contemporaries. It's been done before, and better. It's worth a listen, and keep one eye on this space, but they won't become your favorite band just yet.


Download: We Are Ruins, Your Plane Leaves Tomorrow, Sound of Static
For the fans of: Caspian, This Will Destroy You
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.03.2009
Copper Lung Records

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