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  The Ocean Blue  
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You might remember The Ocean Blue. They were a new wave pop band from the late 80's who had a big "alternative radio" hit in 1993 with Sublime. They failed to reproduce the commercial success of that song, and were eventually dropped from their label. Now, over 10 years since they first started out, they have become an indie band, finally forced to resort to shopping their work around to little labels whose releases you can never find.

And that's a shame really, because The Ocean Blue are still making light pop music full of sunshine and smiles with a backing of lightly distorted chiming guitars. It's happy fun music. Enjoyable to listen to while not being overly challenging.

This is either an EP or the single from their latest album Davy Jones' Locker, which is difficult to locate. The song Denmark comes from the album. It's a really happy and silly new wave pop tune with synthesized drums beats and swirling guitars. It is a song for sunny days and cute girls in Love and Rockets t-shirts. It will get your head bopping along to the bouncey tune.

It is, however, far and above the most noteworthy track here. This leads me to believe that this release is more of a CD single and not an EP. It is not intended to stand on its own, but rather it is a complement to the album. All of the other tracks have that "not quite totally finished b-side" feel to them.

The first of these b-sides is called Walk Away. It features unremarkable vocals that fail to be sad despite their obvious subject matter. The guitars on this are interesting though: light acoustic strumming backed with an electric guitar with massive lots of phase shifting going on. A nice contrast that i would like to see more of.

Track 3, Sweetheart, You're Surrounded, features vocals by the bands newest member, Oed Ronne. His voice is okay, but not quite as bright as that of normal vocalist Davis Schelzel. The charm of this song is the almost Felt-like guitar work that is layered over synth pop keys. It's a nice enough effect, but i think that the song might have been better with Schelzel's typic singing. Still, they are trying something new and i don't want to discourage that. And the guitars really sound great.

The last track is Moodswing, which is a slow and wandering ballad. The drumming on it is nice, but otherwise it is unremarkable to me.

On the whole i would say that this is an average effort from The Ocean Blue. I am glad to see them still working and still together. Their formula still works, as songs such as Denmark amply demonstrate.

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