7 Apr 2017

Ozric Tentacles: "Jurassic Shift"

Obviously not completely hidden away, but nevertheless an oft overlooked classic
Though some consider them a mainstay in progressive and psychedelic rock, Ozric Tentacles remain one of the UK's best kept secrets. Their output since the 80s has been consistent in both volume and quality, with their trademark adventurous rhythmsection with overpowering melodies changing very little over the years.

Jurassic Shift came out ten years into the band's journey, so its place as their defining album in sound and scope comes rather late - And certainly it feels like a fish out of water in the early 90s when the rest of the world were just trying to find new ground to stand on from the pompousness of the 80s.

The album is, as per usual for the British group, highly improvisational in execution, with the band's musicians working in unison to achieve that far-reaching groove that they had by the release in 1993 already become known for in certain circles in the UK.

"Even individual songs flow together to form a massive audial ocean."

The light hearted drumming brings forward the thick bass to tie the rhythms together with the loftier melodies and playful keyboards and synths, but all in all, analysing Jurassic Shift isn't so much a question of describing each individual layer on its own merit, but rather take the album as a whole - Even individual songs flow together to form a massive audial ocean.

Ozric Tentacles' dreaming jams stand head and shoulders above most contenders. Jam bands tend to meander to the point of useless repetition, and improvisational psychedelia often comes up with very little substance, but this is where Ozric Tentacles keep a firm grip on reality while their gestalt wanders into the vastness of space with both staggering hooks and wide shores of rhythmic, cosmic ingenuity.

Through almost an hour the band's erupting mountains of sound range from something far cleaner and neater than, say, the more far-out Hawkwind, to hard-hitting tangents that keeps things interesting. Never once does the formula grow stale - There is simply too much movement and shifts in tone for this to even be a remote possibility. To some this album is a classic, and with good reason. It should be a classic for everyone.


Released in 1993 by Dovetail


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