Oceansize – Frames

Categories: Specials
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Published on: April 14, 2011

The thing I love about Frames, Oceansize’s third album, is that I don’t love everything on Frames.

Does that make sense?

Oceansize has actually done a track that I think is okay, at best. I’ll tell you which one in a minute. But for some reason, the fact that there is a track on this album I don’t much like does not make me think any less of Oceansize. Its like realising someone you love is not perfect, but you love ‘em just the same.

And if you’ve read anything I’ve written about Oceansize you know how much I love this band.

Frames kicks off with one of the greatest three track beginnings to an album ever.  ‘Commemorative T-Shirt’, ‘Unfamiliar’ and ‘Trail of Fire’ demonstrate Oceansize’s subtle craft and thunderous mastery that few bands can even come close to.

Indeed, ‘Unfamiliar’ is so marvellous its almost impossible to believe that ‘Trail of Fire’ is then even better and is certainly one of the greatest rock tracks of the last decade. The way it ebbs and flows and builds and builds is pure Oceansize and pure genius. Underpinning it all, as ever, is Mark Heron’s spectacular drumming, combining blistering power, pounding double bass drums, used sparingly but appropriately, and shimmering, delicate cymbal work.

Then we get ‘Savant’ and ‘Only Twin’, a couple of more laid-back tracks, acknowledging the fact that we need a breather.

An old friend of the Christy’s is the track I mentioned earlier. Its not that I hate it. I’d still rather listen to it than most other stuff but its the first Oceansize track that I feel kinda drifts and doesn’t particularly go anywhere. And its over ten minutes long. Others I’ve spoken to love it so it must just be me.

The final two tracks couldn’t be more different. ‘Sleeping dogs and dead lions’ is all sawn-off guitars and bruising intent whereas ‘The Frame’ is epic Oceansize and would be the perfect closer were it not for the fact that you get a bonus track, ‘Voorhees’.

Its all very well to get more Oceansize for your money but in this case it seems tacked onto the end needlessly. I’d have preferred ‘Voorhees’ to have been inserted somewhere in the middle, maybe even replacing An old friend of the Christy’s but then I’d also prefer that Oceansize hadn’t split up and we can’t have everything we want, can we?

So, another Oceansize album, another essential purchase for anyone who considers themself a rock fan.

Written by Bruce Smeath

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