Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up

Reviewing new releases by bands that we love is always something of a challenge, but Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up, the latest album from Manchester-based alt. rock quintet Oceansize, was a pleasant surprise (particularly after the mild disappointment of last album Frames in 2007). Initially Self Preserved doesn’t captivate, and after a while it becomes easy to realise why. Oceansize’s albums have little middle ground. Through twist and turns, each track is the polar opposite to the next and the general sound of the album although still emphatically their own, is wildly interchangeable, making it difficult to feel at ease.

This said, each song somehow manages to link elegantly together to create a wonderfully, all-encompassing, beginning-to-end album experience. The first track ‘Part Cardiac’ introduces the listener to the heavier sound of Oceansize, but before you convince yourself that you’re in for something completely different you’re charmed into a detour by the astounding and melodic ‘Superimposer’ (not to be confused with closer, ‘Superimposter’). The unforeseen ‘Oscar Acceptance Speech’, steadily goes from unemotional to gloriously full-on with its three minute orchestral climax expertly paving the way for the disturbingly hushed yet equally captivating ‘Ransoms’ which is enriched with that unique and familiar melancholic sound we know so well from previous masterpiece Effloresce. ‘Ransoms’ shows Oceansize at their best, it’s the compelling resolution to an album from a brilliant and thoroughly unconventional band. Well worth the wait.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.