English quintet Oceansize grasps for “The Dark Side of the Moon,” with “Everyone into Position,” but often ends up hitting a wall.As one of Manchester’s foremost rock bands, Oceansize has made waves in recent years. After signing to one of London’s premier indie labels, Beggars Banquet Records, in 2002, the band released its celebrated debut LP “Effloresce,” along with a handful of EPs.
Riding a crest of European admiration, Oceansize’s latest release finds the band in the early stages of establishing a potential stateside fan base.
At over an hour in length, however, “Everyone into Position’s” 10 tracks exhibit an exhausting arrangement of influences within and between each song.
Beginning with the resolute pounding of tribal-like drums on “The Charm Offensive,” Oceansize launches the listener into a world of drawn-out swirling sounds that somehow manage to arrange themselves into a cohesive hellbent epic.
Other songs, such as “Heaven Alive,” hint at the Smashing Pumpkins’ energy but quickly disintegrate into a patchwork of excessively layered noise. In other spots, Oceansize employs a Cursive-like energy that borrows more from the Saddle Creek band than it independently creates.
After assaulting the listener’s eardrums, the band moves into a much more subdued area with tracks like “Meredith.”
Oceansize kicks the sleepy-headed vibe with “No Tomorrow,” a track that delivers an apocalyptic energy, threatening to blow out your speakers and knock down your door with its ferocious drumming and unrelenting guitars.
The album’s highlight is “Mine Host,” an ethereal anthem out of left field that beckons the listener to crank up the volume before dying off at a relatively short four minutes.
Quite often, “Everyone into Position” is so busy punching you in the face with an army of instruments that it overwhelms you rather than captivating you.
The final track, “Ornament / The Last Wrongs,” wraps up this 2006 Oceansize release with a nine-plus minute conglomeration of the sounds and styles within “Everyone into Position;” an album, that when played from start to finish, leaves the listener thirsting for silence, recuperation and reflection.