Hovering, Punk
"With "Frames", Oceansize crosses a stage, that to channel a ardour and an inspiration to propose less progressive and more atmospheric pieces."
NUNO777 (20.09.2007)  
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Two years after the excellent Everyone Into Position, Oceansize releases their third album, Frames, expected by the whole progressive microcosm and beyond. It must be said that with their two previous albums, the young British band had succeeded in imposing their own style, somewhere between post-rock, punk, progressive metal and atmospheric rock. The (justified) critics of the time were like real panegyrics, and we were impatient to listen to the trend of a third album that often turns out to be a confirmation or a turning point in the progression of a band.

After a first listening, we feel that Oceansize has grown up. For those who have known the band since their first album, Effloresce, the evolution is even steady. If this last one proposed a profusion of ideas and inspirations with, as main weakness, the lack of coherent construction, the second album has shown a more structured face but with the same almost alternative "madness" of the band. Frames asserts itself in the homogeneity and the temperance. The progressive flights of fancy are fewer and the compositions are more linear. What Frames loses in "youth", it gains it in depth, and the amplified atmospheric side is the best proof of it.

Oceansize builds many of its songs in the same way... A rather simple intro that sets the melodic theme immediately. The drums (again omnipresent) and the voice slowly enter the part and the melody is exploited rhythmically and emotionally to the core. The song reaches its climax two thirds of the way through the song and then dies almost as it has begun. The perfect example of this construction is the first track of Frames, "Commemorative T-Shirt". In that way, Oceansize is musically close to Porcupine Tree. The two guitars work, real trademark of the band, is still impressive, as attested by the very successful "Unfamiliar".

What is thrilling in the music of the English is the process to bring us to this intensity at the time of the explosion of the song. The track "Trail Of Fire" - perhaps the best of the album - perfectly exemplifies the idea. Those of you familiar with Al Di Meola's sublime "Orient Blue" will notice that the opening chords are almost common with "Trail Of Fire".

The tracks "Savant" and "Only Twin" could be similar tracks as the emotion they express is palpable. Oceansize uses all the melodic artifices for that with magnificent violins, tremolos in the guitar, ethereal voices and atmospheric atmospheres... Mike Vennart and Steve Durose assert themselves, album after album, as being excellent singers. "Only Twin" could have been written by a very enthusiastic Steven Wilson. The chorus, which bursts out in a real explosion and culminates at the top of an emotional rise, would not have been out of place on a Muse record either. Simply splendid and to give you goosebumps.

Unlike the two previous albums, there is only one really heavy and progressive track, in the vein of "A Homage To A Shame" on Everyone Into Position. "Sleeping Dogs and Dead Lions" sums up the Oceansize rock song with its rhythmic breaks, heavy saturation, guitar noise and heartbreaking vocals. This piece is "introduced" by an instrumental track of more than 10 minutes, "An Old Friend of The Christies" which, without being bad, does not bring much to the whole. Maybe the only slight misstep of the album (with the artwork of the cover). Finally, "The Frame" comes to end the album in a quieter way with an almost pop style and, again, beautiful violins.

Frames was expected and does not disappoint. Oceansize has taken a step forward, channelling their ardour and inspiration to offer less progressive and more atmospheric tracks in which emotion is put forward. With three albums of high level, it is for the moment a perfect performance for Oceansize. We hope that the acme of the band does not end up with Frames.
- Official website

01. Commemorative T-shirt - 8:37
02. Unfamiliar - 6:32
03. Trail Of Fire - 8:06
04. Savant - 8:07
05. Only Twin - 7:22
06. An Old Friend Of The Christies - 10:19
07. Sleeping Dogs And Dead Lions - 6:42
08. The Frame - 10:08

Gambler: Guitares
Mark Heron: Batterie
Mike Vennart: Chant / Guitares
Steve Durose: Chant / Guitares
Steve Hodson: Basse
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