Written by: PP on 23/10/2007 01:52:12

Hailing from Manchester, UK, Oceansize has caused quite a stir in the experimental rock circles since their inception, releasing two albums worthy of praise left and right in the underground. Their seamless integration of sonic experimentation and progressive rock elements has won them loyal fans in their home country, but so far the band hasn't been able to extend their following past their own country. You might have read about this band as a hot 'Incoming' band in a high-end magazine like Kerrang!, read the description and thought "that sounds cool", but just never checked them out yet. "Frames", their third album yet, takes a stab at pushing the band to the next level - hopefully the one where they suddenly explode to the 'scene' through enough word of mouth.

At first, the album seems quite a mouthful given that the shortest song on the nine track opus is past the six and a half minute mark. But upon closer inspection you'll notice that although the songs are long and lean heavily into experimental - sometimes even avant garde - rock, the structure is coherent and easy to understand. The crescendos of "Unfamiliar", the hypnotic repetitive riffs of "Commemorative____T-Shirt" , or the gorgeous melodies in "Trail Of Fire" all contribute to a sound that's neither too indie nor too metal, balancing the sound somewhere in between the two distant genres. There are enough heavy chord progressions to warrant nods from the metalheads, but at the same time vocalist Vennart's voice is tranquillizing enough to appeal to the softer indie rock fanbase of bands like Portugal. The Man or Copeland.

More often than not, the arrangements sound dreamy and spacey, bringing words like 'epic' and 'majestic' into mind. Especially the aforementioned "Trail Of Fire" is an absolute gem, combining gradual tempo and volume increases with soothing melody suitable for those long summer nights. Try laying in bed, closing your eyes, and letting your mind wander while focusing intensely on the grandeur soundscape and the tiny details in the guitars or the keyboard.

Only if all songs on the record would be like the first three. The rest follows largely the same principles of soothing clean vocals, soft keyboards and peaceful guitars, without ever really sounding as mind blowing as the beginning of the record.

That being said, there aren't really any bad songs on the album. There are three or four amazing ones, which consequently leave the rest in their shadow. One thing's for sure, though: Oceansize's "Frames" is a unique piece of indie flavored alternative rock in a progressive rock setting, and definitely worth checking out.

Download: Trail Of Fire
For the fans of: Amplifier, Dredg, Aerogramme
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.10.2007
Provided by Target ApS

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