Though their third album carries the title “From Tomorrow,” we’re confident that today truly belongs to The Oscillation.
Our confidence in granting the day to The Oscillation stems from the mesmerizing effect of “From Tomorrow,” the U.K. band’s third full-length overall and the first that has coursed through our neural passageways with such force that we do not need but rather must listen to it on a daily basis, for several weeks on end.
As true as it is that we’re shamelessly enamored of “From Tomorrow” and its ultimately timeless appeal, answering the question of why the album’s perfectly balanced, forty-minute trip has achieved the mythical level of masterpiece in our heads is somewhat more difficult. Of course, it always is. And certainly these mere words alone will be unable to uncover the audio alchemy constructed by The Oscillation.
Still, we’ll give it a shot.
The most immediate strength of “From Tomorrow” is simply in the very sound of the album – and while we have the audio engineering experience of a tin can, we’re prepared to call this a very, very, very good sound. It’s in the snap of the drums, the space-serpent slither of the bass lines, the sonic sturm und drung of the guitar and synths (plus the interplay between the two), and the otherworldly authority of the vocals. All elements are skillfully layered together in a way that’s both tight and loose, centered with plenty of breathing room – form is emptiness, emptiness is form.
Also contributing to the compelling nature of “From Tomorrow” is what we referred to earlier as the album’s timelessness. Thoroughly modern as the album is, even futuristic enough to ably carry the title “From Tomorrow,” The Oscillation equally express the attributes of their futuristic forbears. Album opener “Corridor (Part One)” recalls the dark, descending flicker-flicker-flam of Pink Floyd circa “Astronomy Domine,” while the album as a whole feels cut from the same eternally excellent cloth as “A Gilded Eternity,” “Tago Mago,” – even occasionally echoes of “Heaven Up Here.” True to the band’s name, The Oscillation at times seem to sonically split the difference between oscillations both Silver and Aqua.
Comparisons, however, tell very little of the story – undoubtedly existing only in the ear of the beholder. And perhaps the most notable thing our ears behold throughout “From Tomorrow” is something we don’t normally associate with albums so kosmische in scope and style: hooks. For all the intergalactic mind-expansion delivered by The Oscillation (and there’s plenty) they’re equally able to deliver many memorable moments that – gasp! – you may wish to sing along with. Nowhere is this skill on display more clearly than on album highlight, “No Place to Go.”
There’s no place for “From Tomorrow” to go except further into our heads, hearts and minds. In full voice, we’ll continue to sing the praises of The Oscillation – in the past, today and from tomorrow as well.
“Who can say that he will definitely see tomorrow’s sunrise? Who can even be sure that he will draw his next breath? … We were born alone and we will die alone. Yet even while alone we still have our shadow with us; and alone after death, our consciousness will still have with it the shadow of our actions, good and bad.” – H. H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, “The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones“