Oceansize have crept along for three albums now, the wave which began with debut Effloresce building and ebbing quietly in the backgrounds of the British scene. This seems like an ideal position for a band who are not particularly interested in scoring big hits, but on crafting their own sometimes delicate, sometimes oppressive sound with little regard to what the rest of the world might be doing with guitars and such.With 'Frames', coming in just over the hour but with only eight tracks, the band have given their songs plenty of room to breathe. They don’t end, but blur and blend in to one another in one endless track but, surprisingly, still manages - in the main part - not to feel boring or overlong.
While this takes away some of their punchier edge, it makes for a sometimes dreamy and often powerful album. This music is dark and dense - in some places in a thick, murky way and in others with many fine interwoven layers. While they’re probably not quite as menacing or dangerous as they’d like to be, Oceansize seem to have found their fit very well in this style. While the lyrics and vocals often work fairly well with their brand of heavy instrumentalism, they sometimes feel a little overblown and the album’s peak is probably instrumental track ‘An Old Friend To The Christies’.It all starts with a forbidding thump, like the soundtrack to a horror movie where it becomes evident that the killer is still alive.
Very slowly building up with a shriek of guitars, violins, and bass, only to fall away again into quietness, the track provides a compelling centrepiece for the album. The skills of drummer - are not to be played down in bringing together not only this track, but the album as a whole. While it might not do much for those without a love for the prog or post rock, 'Frames' shows a band who aren’t afraid of their own sound - and a fine album to boot.