Oceansize: Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up

Innovative art rockers boggle minds with an instant classic.

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For the best part of a decade, Manchester’s Oceansize have been creating

Their wonderful fourth album finds them in a feisty mood, the devastating metallic punch of the opening track Part Cardiac, in particular, ramming your senses like an express train. And yet, while it’s their heaviest album to date, their thoughtfulness, subtlety and attention to detail tempers the aggression to create a textured soundscape alive with light and shade. Frontman Mike Vennart’s warm, dry vocal style contrasts gorgeously with the pummelling, stark riffs.

Fragments of strings flutter in and out of the darker moments like moths. And the dreamy, misty A Penny’s Weight stacks at least three completely contrasting melodies on top of each other, allowing them to develop into an intense cinematic wash of noise.

This is an album that reveals more with each listen, each individual track a standalone thing of brutal beauty but best experienced flowing together to create a breathtaking, intelligent whole. Essential listening for 2010.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.