I was really disappointed when Oceansize broke up a few years back. I loved every album they did, so I was really happy that lead vocalist Mike Vennart decided to make a solo album. “The Demon Joke” is very much in line with everything that Oceansize did. It would be virtually impossible for Mike to completely change his style and, after all, Oceansize were always progressing and tweaking their sound.
“The Demon Joke” would fit nicely next to “Frames” or the follow-up full length “Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up.” “The Demon Joke” isn’t as heavy as “Frames” nor is it as subdued as “Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up.” Stylically, the album has prog elements along with some power pop and some shoegaze. The opening track “255” is a synth laden track with big guitars, while the first single “Operate” (which was released as a demo before the album) is a catchy shoegaze anthem.
“Don’t Forget the Joker” is the latest video from the album. It would easily fit on a Trail of Dead album, a band also on SuperBall. The song is slower and features one of Mike’s best vocal performances, almost a soul performance. “A Weight in the Hollow” is one of my favorite tracks with has a Sigur Rós verse to it, quite peaceful. The chorus is dreamy shoegaze at its best.
Oceansize fans should be very pleased with “The Demon Joke.” If we can’t have a reunion, at least we have something that is damn close. Vennart has proven that he was the heart of the band. While I will still hope that Oceansize returns, if they don’t, I want more from Mr. Vennart!
5 Duke Fame
6 Don’t Forget The Joker
8 A Weight In The Hollow