American indie pop group The Ocean Blue have got all the jangly guitar goodness you’d expect from a band formed in 1986. Re-issuing their 2004 EP Waterworks this month with three added tracks, the band tour to promote the release this fall. Made up of David Schelzel on lead vocals and guitar, Oed Ronne on key, guitar and vocals, Bobby Mittan on bass and Peter Anderson on drums the release also includes collaborations with some of the band’s friends, including Jim Ruiz and Allen Clapp.
Known for covering the likes of The Smiths and New Order in their live performances, their sound is very much influenced by them too. “Fast Forward Reverse” opens the album with a synthy, dreamy track, which acts as a slow and short introduction. This leads seamlessly into “Pedestrian” which carries on the slow, dream state with Schelzel’s vocals pulling you in over the ambient noise. The track builds up with guitar and drums and he sings “I saw you last night, alone in your car, it wasn’t quite right, your headlights were out”.
“Golden Gate”, an ode to San Francisco sounds much more folk inspired, like it came straight from the sixties. “Ticket to Wyoming” is an optimistic track with blasts of electric guitar between the softly sung vocals; “I know your daddy didn’t like me, he said I wasn’t up to any good, so I hightailed it to Wyoming ‘cos I could”. The next track on Waterworks is equally as positive, “Sunshower” before “The Northern Jetstream” brings a more contemplative feel. The longest track on the album, the song really builds and builds, layers of guitar and “do do dos” in the introduction.
The last three tracks are the recently added ones. “Golden Girl” and “Can’t Let Go” were written around the same time, but were never finished properly or released until now. Steady, thoughtful and at the same time catchy, they are certainly worth buying the new release for. “Take a Broken Heart” is a cover of Rick Nelson’s song, with Ronne on vocals it is a stunning end to a re-vitalized release from The Ocean Blue.