Friday, January 17, 2014

Significant Albums: Oceansize - Frames (2007)


This is an album I have enjoyed and held in very high regard for quite awhile. After struggling but eventually being won over by Oceansize in 2006, I had a ton of high hopes for this record. And it honestly, in no way disappointed me.

It has great flow to it song-2-song. The production is excellent. The songs seem to all have something unique about them, from a trademark, driving Oceansize riff, to the chaotic harmonies. Some of the best use of strings at times are included on Frames.

I guess this album could be regarded loosely as a concept album about the movie/movie-series Friday the 13th. I'd say, mostly the 1st movie from 1980, "An Old Friend of the Christies" is a blatant reference, along with the bonus track "Voorhees.

I think it is "Sleeping Dogs Dead Lions," specifically the really dissonant, mad chugging riff, where I always think of a scene from the 2nd F13th movie of the cop running through the woods being chased by Jason, holding a rifle.

-I for a while have felt this album was not quite as good as Everyone Into Position, but over time, I'd be kidding myself to feel that way. I see them as 2 different kinds of albums, but basically equal.

-The 1st 2 tracks "9/11 Commemorative T-Shirt" and "Unfamiliar" have a great crescendo together. There is just such a powerful emotion in the guitars and Mike Vennart's vocals, to the point I often wish Unfamiliar went on 3 or 4 more minutes.

-the closing track "The Frame" is so incredibly melancholy, yet hugely powerful and gorgeous..It's very Post Rock-like with the slow but gradual build an the enormous climax. It's one of the greatest closing tracks on any album I've ever enjoyed, and certainly 1 of the best Oceansize songs. The interval pattern that's repeated I always think-of with this album and the band. It's almost a celebration of Oceansize and the ending of the trip this record takes you through.

Trail of Fire, Only Twin and Savant all are songs that only get or got better with hearing this more.

I was thinking earlier, in 2007, I wrote a long winded album review countdown, but never finished the top 20 I recall. Frames finished #4 I remember right ahead of Fair to Midland and right behind Between the Buried and Me. But that whole group of albums, I never really got to elaborate that much on given I was so worn out trying to write up the rest of that list. This record is due some of that, so this sadly is maybe the 1st time I even wrote vaguely about it in some level of detail.

Oceansize, as I sensed even before they broke up, were a band who really were a cult band, that the cult loved dearly and so wanted them to continue making music. But they didn't make it viably financially unfortunately, unlike some of their contemporaries from the UK like Muse or Biffy Clyro.

This record and their others as well, likely could become a statement about music, progressive, heavy rock, post rock, etc..rock of some kind was like in the 2000's. And it may become their go-to release for decades possibly, if a reunion never happens. The fans, including the progressive rock scene, look to it the most that I've seen. It really put them on the prog rock map in fact.

I guess maybe the biggest thing about Frames is its continued significance beyond when it 1st came out, as it's the record I still listen to the most by Oceansize some 6+ years after it came out.