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8 out of 10
I have to confess I'm disagreeable to this from the start, as when I was a young sprog I went to see a chimney in Shoreham being razed, and let me tell you, that collapsed like a Portuguese footballer except it didn't roll but it went down from 106 metres to nothing and that happened right next to an ocean (well it's more of a sea) so if anyone should know about things collapsing then these guys should.
Fortunately my worries for this band halts at their knowledge of controlled demolitions along the West Sussex coastline, because from the subtle get-go of Lit Up Under Streetlights these boys display a tremendous sense of majesty. Just as the sound begins to drown under waves of distortion, a light melody cuts through like a scalpel across an eye. The sound is clarity in itself (and that snare sound! The 'kah' sounds like a million single cells of bubble wrap being popped simultaneously) and the emphasis here is on melody, unusually clandestine notes ring out like a fire in a piano full or Passeriformes.
Obvious comparisons will be made to tour mates Pelican and also Russian Circles, Red Sparowes, Mogwai, Envy and anyone else that finds themselves under the stratosphere covering umbrella term that is post rock. Oceans however can claim a seat at the top table as their twisting, weaving yet humble music flitters around as if trying to emulate Pynchon or even Joyce as it warps from Minus the Bear style finger tapping (Boy Detective) to the Helladic turbulence of Traps and Traps.
On the aforementioned Boy Detective the build up to the astounding gang vocals led denouement is a rush in itself, slowly placating the listener with understated shifts and progressions before it is realised eight minutes down the line that this has morphed into a meticulously overwhelming cathartic conglomerate.
This is not an album that should be consumed like a finger buffet; it needs to be absorbed as a whole, although the tracks are strong enough to stand up by themselves if you insist upon enlisting the random function on your media player. To truly appreciate the finer nuances of Oceans third effort (first full length) you must be willing to immerse yourself, to be lowered into that big blue, a drive-thru take away this is not, it is a battling between night and day, it cloud gazing and it is Tsunami-like. Bathe in Oceans.
1. Lit Up Under Streetlights
2. We Are The Ruins
3. Ways With Wolves
4. Boy Detective
5. Sound of Static
6. City At Peace
7. Terrified of What We Might Become
8. Traps And Traps
9. Your Plane Leaves Tomorrow