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Oceansize | Effloresce (Beggars Banquet)
Oceansize's similarity to nu-prog pioneers Cave In didn't go unnoticed for long ?? the two toured together earlier this year ?? but it's a similarity that doesn't hold true for much of 'Effloresce'. Sure, there are moments of spacey drone rock that would fit easily on 'Jupiter' ?? check out past single One Day All This Could Be Yours ?? but enough of 'Effloresce' is bereft of Cave In's bloated inclinations, guaranteeing a pleasant rather than patience-trying listen. Indeed, the sparkly Catalyst is more Muse than it is any hardcore-gone-prog outfit from overseas, whilst Rinsed echoes the menacing shadows of The For Carnation. Whilst Oceansize lack the titanic punch of Isis and the emotional intensity of Mogwai (although closer Long Forgotten frequently threatens to tug at the heart throughout its eight minutes), the middle ground is still a very respectable place to be, and 'Effloresce' is, in turn, a very respectable debut effort from a band who will produce something frighteningly good next time. That specialist prog section in HMV gets closer by the minute.

Mike Diver
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003