A final flurry of ticket purchases and Oceansize's biggest London gig to- date sells out on the day. There's a few people literally begging for tickets outside the Garage, but to no avail. Even lead singer Mike Vennart is having to turn away dissapointed groupies as he answers a call on his mobile outside the venue, minutes before the show.
Having found it impossible to buy a copy of new EP "Music for Nurses", despite trawling every record shop in North London, I don't know what to expect from tonight's show. But my faith that I wouldn't be disappointed is rewarded with the first few chords. New songs, "Paper Champion" and "One Out Of None" showcase the bands deft touch with extreme noise, the three-guitar attack, tumultuous drums and Vennarts garbled shouting at the end of the latter combine into something absolutely stunning. And it ends suddenly, stopping dead like all songs should, plunging us into silence
Other songs in the set tonight include "One Day All This Could be Yours", "Amputee", "Catalyst" and an incredible version of "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs" - apparently to placate the messageboard fans who had threatened the band with death if they didn't play it. Plus a new "Untitled" number that meanders a little and if anything is the low point of the set - hopefully when I hear the final version on the new LP it will be more focussed.
Oceansize have an incredible ability to grow a song from a near silent ambient pieces into mountainous slabs of white-noise. Sure there are plenty of other bands doing the "quiet-loud" thing, but it seems like Oceansize's quiets are that little bit more beautiful and their louds ten times more brutal than those of their peers.
For me this year has belonged to Oceansize. Band Of The Year 2004 - No Contest. With their second album on the horizon, If 2005 isn't the year that Oceansize go absolutely stellar then there really is no justice. In a world where the likes of The Thrills are allowed to peddle their bland, emotionless filth, and Snow Patrol sell millions, Oceansize stand as a beacon for those of us who like our music to actually mean something. I stand by the Radiohead and Tool comparisons that I drew after my first Oceansize gig. I fully expect Oceansize to grow into something that equals, if not eclipses, both.
Richy [ October 27th, 2004 ]
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