Cerulean

Cerulean

Cerulean

No Sense In Waiting

Spinwheel Records

For a band that shares its name with an Ocean Blue album, it’s ironic that they were able to accomplish what Hershey, PA’s post-new wave pop rockers couldn’t. In the mid-’90s, The Ocean Blue tried a decidedly aggressive approach, making their gleaming-diamond guitars sparkle a little less and turning on the distortion pedal.

It didn’t work.

The Ocean Blue couldn’t balance the fey charm of their sound with the volume increase. The band sounded stiff, with forced, unappealing tracks. Cerulean, on the other hand, can really rock while keeping the narcotic beauty of their shimmering riffs intact.

Based in Los Angeles, Cerulean share an appetite for dreamy textures with a half-dozen British acts from the late ’80s and early ’90s. For those who were still in diapers at the time, there was once an English movement called “shoegazer,” appropriately termed since many of the groups stared at their sneakers while playing disorienting, fuzz-laden and often repetitive guitars. The difference is that Cerulean places their vocals in front of the mix; you can actually hear what Rick Bolander is singing, unlike the indecipherable, whispered longings of My Bloody Valentine.

The group places an emphasis on songwriting over sonics, which is something the old ‘gazers never did. The tunes on this LP are actually hummable and comprehensible. “Like Fading Stars” and “Here Is Hoping” are especially powerful, with emotion and muscle powering ethereal grooves that’ll knock the light from distant stars.

Cerulean: www.ceruleanmusic.com

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