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The Best Musical Discoveries of 2011

The older albums our critics listened to this year
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self preserved while the bodies float up
Superball Music

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Oceansize, 'Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up'

I still buy records in stores, so I didn't find one of 2010's best albums, released in Britain last fall, over here until this spring. By then, Britain's Oceansize – my idea of triple-guitar heaven since I first saw them at SXSW in 2002 – had split up. They went out in a visceral contemporary-prog din: guitars climbing and clanging with symphonic dynamics over complex metal-army drumming. There is human fire in there too; guitarist-lyricist Mike Vennart sings with a bright furious poise, holding fast in a silver rain of treble and feedback. Oceansize made five EPs and four albums, counting this one. Start here, then go deep.

David Fricke

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