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Album Review

Manchester's Oceansize compose a mechanical flow of post-rock/experimental ticks and beats on their debut album, Effloresce. As the title aptly suggests, Effloresce bursts forth with feverish punk edges and ethereal electronics for an aggressive guitar storm. Mike Vennart (vocals/guitar), Steve Durose (guitar/vocals), Gambler (guitar), Jon Ellis (bass), and Mark Herrin (drums) seem content with the album's constant apprehension, and the shifty dynamic works. From the agonizing fury of "You Wish" and "Amputee" to the band's more eclectic and melodic instrumentals such as "I Am the Morning" and "Unravel," the momentum of Effloresce never lets up. "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs" is a stunning heatstroke featuring Vennart and Durose's icy twin-guitar work. As it swirls into a menagerie of space rock and post-alternative rock, Vennart's aching vocals only accentuate the buildup of what is the album's finest moment. The dozen-track set list is loaded from start to finish, sonically and emotionally; however, Oceansize basically rely on the strength of their individual playing to carry the weight of Effloresce. While most of the songs are individually interesting, the album's overall composition is rather lacking. Oceansize do have potential and Effloresce does show promise, but its arrangement isn't as thought-out as it could be.


Formed: 2000 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Oceansize were one of numerous British bands crafting epic, moody soundscapes in the post-Radiohead era. However, they couldn't be pigeonholed as a Coldplay/Travis clone; their influences ran the gamut from space rock old (Pink Floyd) and new (Mogwai, the Verve) to alternative metal (Jane's Addiction, Tool), shoegaze (My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver), and even the avant-garde (Can, Tortoise). Formed in Manchester, England, the band featured vocalist/guitarist Mike Vennart, guitarists Gambler and...
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Effloresce, Oceansize
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