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Ocean Colour Scene - Saturday

Ocean Colour Scene, Saturday

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

ROCK-folk outfit Ocean Colour Scene celebrate their 21st anniversary next year and limber up for that occasion with the release of their ninth studio LP, Saturday.

It’s a workmanlike offering that should easily please the fans, without really winning them many more friends.

Recorded over six weeks last summer at the Rockfield Studios in South Wales with producer Gavin Monaghan (Editors/The Twang), it’s an expansive collection of rock and folk songs that pretty much do everything we’ve come to expect from the OCS.

There are some strong moments… as well as some ordinary ones. They remain accomplished but never groundbreaking.

Highlights include the former single Magic Carpet Days, which is a vibrant slice of Brit-pop that boasts a brilliant melody and delicious chorus. It’s a song about empowerment that empowers the soul.

The woozy psychedelia of What’s Mine Is Yours, meanwhile, harks back to Sgt Pepper era Beatles and unfolds in suitably pleasing fashion.

While album opener 100 Floors of Perception is a psych-folk epic that was written by Simon to reflect the ongoing financial crisis. As perceptive, even downbeat, as some of the lyrics are, though, the song is upbeat in composition and boasts some fine guitar work.

Title track Saturday hits a breezy bounce through the working week and inevitable countdown to the weekend, while Old Pair of Jeans hits a blues-rock stomp that’s pretty inspiring.

But such moments are balanced out by more straightforward fare such as Just A Little Bit of Love, which doesn’t convince as much as it should, Sing Children Sing, which attempts to add some brass and a slightly more soulful vibe, or the slow-building “epic” style of songwriting that is The Word – a song that strives for greatness but just hits ordinary.

Saturday is by no means a bad album and, like we said, an apt OCS crowd-pleaser. But it could do with a greater injection of invention to break from formula.

Download picks: 100 Floors of Perception, Saturday, Magic Carpet Days, What’s Mine Is Yours

Track listing:

  1. 100 Floors Of Perception
  2. Mrs Maylie
  3. Saturday
  4. Just A Bit Of Love
  5. Old Pair Of Jeans
  6. Sing Children Sing
  7. Harry Kidnap
  8. Magic Carpet Days
  9. Word
  10. Village Life
  11. Postal
  12. Whats Mine Is Yours
  13. Fell In Love On The Street Again
  14. Rockfiled