Release: Out Now Label: Copper Lung Records Website: Instrumental bands are hard to get right. Plenty do; Don Caballero, Jaga Jazzist, Pelican to name but a few of the more recent ones; and now Oceans join the cadre. The first three tracks from this offering won’t jump out at you; we perceive no aural attention grabbing here.  Instead one may fall hungrily upon that rarest of treats; a laid-back approach to starting an album. No gimmicks, no contrived climaxes, just 15 odd minutes of sauntering and melancholy melodies.  It is not until fourth track ‘Boy Detective’ that we discover ‘vocalist’ Ryan Martin exists in a capacity other than guitarist, and only then briefly, gently voicing a few lines about being ‘starry eyed’ before again falling silent until the brief, gang vocal climax. Unfortunately, the album as a whole may well benefit from a few more similar moments. The band is completed by Violinist Luis Bellorin, guitarists Keith Marek and Michael Parkinson, and backed by Nick Wakim on drums. Again, there will be no showmanship here, and in this one regard Oceans fall into much the same trap as many instrumental outfits; the unwillingness to grant one particular instrument or riff a seriously individual voice. This is perhaps as much a convention of the genre and an offshoot of maintaining a constant soundscape, but the slight anticipation for a breakaway melody, a sparseness of rhythm here to highlight a guitar line there, pervades. Nevertheless, soundscaping is something these boys do with consummate ease.  It is hard to distill one stand-out track, but this purely because of the consistent but subtle shifts in the musical landscape, as well as their (perhaps dogged) fondness for mid-tempo. Oceans can safely lay claim to possessing a voice without resorting to vocals; it’s one calculated to lull you rather than excite and thrill you, a still sea as opposed to a stormy one. Oceans do instantly project tranquility, and whilst it would be misleading to suggest that the entire album is oceanic calm, the metaphor serves nicely. As a whole Nothing Collapses is a flowing, serenely confidant and at times wistfully epic journey. Rating: 7/10