I still remember hearing The Ocean Blue for the first
time. It was amongst the tremendous surge of Britpop bands in
the early 90's that we now refer to as the shoegaze scene. Their
sound then was a jangling, light blend of delayed guitars and
brilliant drumming. And that has not changed.
Nearly fifteen years after the band first began working, their
music is as lushly beautiful and lyrically mesmerizing as ever.
The songs on Waterworks are hauntingly beautiful, full
of airy, wistful sounds underscoring the clever lyrics of David
Schelzel. The foundations of the music are still, thankfully,
within the bounds of the shoegaze genre, giving those of us who
desire more of that music a welcome gift. Always more Trash
Can Sinatras than Catherine Wheel or My Bloody Valentine,
The Ocean Blue's music is still full of tranquility and a meditatingly
transcendent quality. Pleasant to the ear, and full of the joy
so apparent from a group of boyhood friends who continue to be
able to do what they desire for a living
making great music.
The witty lyrics of "Ticket To Wyoming" are a perfect
example of the continuing off-center quirkiness that makes this
band so great. "Bought a ticket to Wyoming/ tossed another
life away/ left, and a lotta things I didn't get to say/ I know
your daddy didn't like me/ said I wasn't up to any good/ so
I high-tailed it to Wyoming, because I could" The jangling
guitars of "Golden Gate" easily transport the listener
back to the glory days of shoegaze's formative years, and the
scrubby beat of "Sunshower" makes for an enjoyable
off-kilter dance number.
One more great shoegaze record for 2004. I've just about lost
track of all the great music that has been released this year,
but I'm certain this record will find it's way into my top ten
list. And if you stop and give it a listen, you'll find yourself
tapping your toes and smiling along.
1. Fast Forward Reverse
3. Golden Gate
4. Ticket To Wyoming
6. The Northern Jetstream
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