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June 24, 2024

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Effloresce (Beggars Banquet)

By: Cam Lindsay

What a wonderful year for 2003 has been for prog rock. First Cave In gave us a mystical battle between pounding hardcore riffs and Rush-like tangents. Then Dead Meadow turned up the volume with a salute to the weird and fuzzy world of Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. And most recently, The Mars Volta have taken it to commercial levels, showing concept albums can be cool all over again. Now, a bunch of young Mancunians are set to do a little bit of everything with their debut album. Oceansize don't sound like any one thing you've heard of. They wander with their music making numerous stops along the way. In Effloresce, you'll hear the influence of past luminaries like Can and Pink Floyd, while thoughts of modern sonic tinkerers like Muse, Cave In and Jane's Addiction linger as well. Using a meaty three guitar assault, Oceansize hit hardcore dimensions on tracks such as the epic "Massive Bereavement", yet find themselves flirting with Verve-ish space rock on "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs" and devilish quiet to loud structures on "Saturday Morning Breakfast Show". You'd think the foray into something so broad and tremendous would damage their appeal, but this band's playful imaginations are their prized possessions. Even the fact that this record runs over 75-minutes in length can't stop it from being one hell of an adventurous and enjoyable debut record.
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