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Relapse by Oceansize

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Reviewed on 1st October 2002.



By Oceansize

When reading through Oceansize's 3 year history it's hard to ignore the vast number of "these guys are about to make it big" moments. But impressive as they are, you can't help but think why they've had so many moments and yet it's taken them 3 years to reach what is in effect a make or break point with "we'll give'em a go" label Beggars Banquet. You only have to look through BB's long list of 2 E.P.ers for many a band that have vanished into the indie ether. This may be a bit of a glass half empty synopsis, but you would have presumed that having finally been given the chance to play in the big league Oceansize would have turned their hand to delivering a release with more impact. Instead what we get is 3 meandering, sweeping, overly indulgent, overly long, knob twiddle-tastic b-sides. Sounding vaguely at their best like Mogwai or Swervedriver and other fellow "Shoegazers" (there's a word I haven't said in a while) and at their worst like Faith No More.

You certainly get your moneys worth with a running time of 22:17 for the whole EP, but this is not a good reason to buy the CD. Opener "Amputee" is as close as the band come to offering something memorable, it's dark and deep stuff but the mix leaves you wanting to turn it up to hear the vocals lost between the early Verve guitar wibbling. Title track "Relapse" is too long and after spending an age building up to what in essence is a rather disappointing song it then spends an age going away again. Closer "You Wish" is also forgettable, slightly heavier, directionless stuff. All three tracks are played and produced well and packed with guitar cleverness but the overall feeling is rather empty.

It's harsh I know, "you should support up and coming bands" someone once said to me and I totally agree, but these boys are labelled up now and I expect more. Unfortunately with this release Oceansize are no bigger than a pond.



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