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Cerulean
No Sense In Waiting
Spinwheel Records
www.ceruleanmusic.com


Cerulean are one of those fine bands who've been around for quite some time (since 1999, in fact), but have flown unjustly under the radar. They play enticing, up tempo dream pop with shoegazy vocals and plenty of guitar effects that should entice fans of Ride, Lush, For Against or the more recent Ambulance Ltd.

No Sense in Waiting is Cerulean's third full length release, following on from 2002's Brighter / Still and their 1999 debut Skylight. It actually came out last year, but I'd missed out on it until guitarist Noel Kelly himself was kind enough to send me a copy. The least I could do was to review the album in these hallowed pages ...

No Sense in Waiting is no great departure from Brighter / Still, but in these guys' case that's a very good thing. The drums pound or clatter as needed, the bass is strong and melodic, frequently driving the tunes in best shoegazer fashion, and the guitars shimmer and crash like a sparkling sea surmounted by the blue skies for which the band is named.

As if that wasn't enough to win them the adoration of dream pop fans everywhere, the band gets extra credibility points by co-producing this album with David Newton - who was the guitarist for the great Birmingham, England group The Mighty Lemon Drops.

The opening track, "Quiet Release", starts out very like For Against with its jangling guitar and high, melodic bass. Rick Bolander's voice is much more soaring and robust, though - he sounds very much like Rob Dickinson from The Catherine Wheel at times; perfect for this music. From there the standard is kept very high throughout the album, with the majority of propulsive, faster songs ("Keep Repeating", "Here is Hoping", and the almost Wedding Present-frenetic "Hi Riser") nicely complemented by a handful of moodier pieces. Most notable of the latter is the 7-minute closing epic "No Sense in Waiting", which takes the earlier Verve and Ride's Leave Them All Behind as starting points and then launches off into a stratosphere all its own. A fantastic way to close the record, and no doubt an astounding live experience.

I'm convinced these guys just need a strategic SXSW appearance, or maybe a high profile support slot, to move them up to a much-deserved next level of acclaim. Whatever happens, I'll be watching out for their future releases.

-Gareth Bowles

Track list:
1. Quiet Release
2. In Pictures
3. Stop Running
4. Keep Repeating
5. Like Fading Stars
6. Here is Hoping
7. August
8. Hi Riser
9. You Don't Belong
10. Turn on Your Own
11. No Sense in Waiting


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