OCEANSIZE – Everyone Into Position

OCEANSIZE - Everyone Into Position


Beggars Banquet
Release date: February 7, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The UK’s Oceansize make more than a splash with their second release, Everyone Into Position. Haunting and often sad melodies and arrangements build at an unhurried pace to create large and delicate atmospheres, sometimes climaxing with a hard edge, sometimes keeping an even keel throughout each 6 to 9-minute excursion. Well-crafted and intelligent, the music invokes a sense of contemplation. To the extent that a more specific measure of likeability can be ascribed apart from the intents and purposes of the individual listener, it is not far-fetched to say that listeners may find the music sublimely powerful, or painfully prosaic.

Everyone Into Position does not, with the exception of “A Homage to a Shame” and “No Tomorrow,” pummel the listener with overt guitar riffage. Still, a passive-aggressive undercurrent is felt in many places via the juxtaposition of airy melodies over dark textures. For its moods and mannerisms, the music will be of interest to fans of A Perfect Circle and Marillion. Jon Ellis on bass and Mark Heron on drums, while appropriately conservative in their playing, are adept at varying the dynamics of the musical backbone to suit the mood of the moment. Mike Vennart runs the vocal gamut from an aggressive Maynard Keenan (A Perfect Circle, Tool), to a fragile Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), to a melodramatic Ian Thornley (Big Wreck). Vennart, Steve Durose, and Gambler dedicate themselves to layering guitar parts that serve to keep the listener baited during the ebb and flow of a song. Not found here are self-indulgent solo flights subordinating the compositions’ overall development. Indeed, the central purpose and statement is the song on the whole.

Beyond question, the Oceansize listening experience is not to be rushed. There is an ethereal quality and slowness that may be of value to those looking simply to space out, but to redeem the greatest value in these songs requires the appreciation of the compositional development, not letting one’s immediate attention presume any conclusive sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction before the song reaches climax. Most of the songs beg a restraint and release in the listener that culminates no sooner than the end of the song. A one-dimensional, “fast-food” mindset intent on the instant gratification of a raucous riff or screeching vocal will be frustrated with the creeping development and minimalism of many of the tracks on the album.

Alas, the downside is that the music creeps too slowly at times. Personal taste will obviously dictate what is “too” slow, however; so it suffices to say that the songs take their time in building substance beyond atmospheric, and often maintain a low profile throughout.

According to the promotional material, Everyone Into Position is meant to be a statement decrying the widespread apathy in the world, and the “pseudo-caring mentality that’s sweeping the nation.” Indeed, the strong reflection in the music of this sad state may cause the listener to find solace in its melancholy — or to be discomforted by the emotions it invokes. The mysterious irony of sad and beautiful music aside, Oceansize make a moving statement with Everyone Into Position and will undoubtedly find a place in the hearts of fans worldwide.


  • Jason Sagall

    Jason was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was born in Illinois and currently reside in California, USA, where he works in the field of Information Technology, and is a freelance web consultant hyperacuity.net. His favorite Rock and Metal subgenres include Classic, Progressive, and Power. He is a guitar fanatic and listen to a lot of Instrumental Rock and Fusion. Jason has been playing guitar as a hobby for some 25 years.  

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