Oceansize : Manchester Roadhouse

Oceansize are cataclysmic...

Even if Oceansize frontman Mike Vennart was fronting a Boy’s Brigade marching band he’d still be the most grandly possessed band leader since Ashcroft first forgot his manners. As it is, his confidence is entirely justified: this Trafford five-piece have founded a new music, one that taps the same complex root as scene cousins Elbow, but pollutes it to forge a skewed Baroque metal.

Unashamed of musicianship, they understand – as the opening ‘Catalyst’ avalanches into dense noise – that to truly shock, you must at first make people feel cosy, lulling them into a deep underwater coma dream before shocking them out of their trance. Oceansize‘s music trades in pieces rather than songs, but when it does concede to melody, it’s with an attack on the senses called ‘Amputee’ that jolts us two paces backwards with its ferocity.

Hyberbole? Maybe, but Oceansize are cataclysmic. And, even if they’re progressive, they’re never, ever prog. This music – so close we feel its breath on our necks – can render the primal urge of techno with boring old guitars, leaving us dazed and exhausted and hungry and in love.

Daniel Martin