April 6, 2008

Review: Julie Ocean | Long Gone And Nearly There [MP3s]

Julie Ocean -- Long Gone And Nearly ThereThe very idea of Julie Ocean -- that is, roughly, Velocity Girl + Glo-worm + Swiz = awesome rock band -- is so enticing that the contrarian in us almost hoped that it didn't work. But the relatively new quartet succeeds marvelously, as evidenced by the exuberant and winsome indie pop on Long Gone And Nearly There. The band's sunny sounds most obviously reference predecessor Velocity Girl, whose immensely powerful second single "My Forgotten Favorite" (which easily places among our 10 favorite songs) gave way to more traditional pop efforts further along the arc of the '90s act's career. The guitar tremelo that opens and closes Julie Ocean's anthemic "Here Comes Danny" in particular reminds us of Velocity Girl. Under the gloss, smile and "woo oohs" of "Looking At Me/Looking At Your" and "My Revenge" pulses the caffeinated energy -- and certainly the conciseness -- of mighty late '80s hardcore act Swiz, which counted among its members Julie Ocean drummer Alex Daniels.

But the overarching element of Julie Ocean's music -- broad, bright melodies delivered with an irresistible guitar-pop fizz -- overshadows the vestigial artifacts of those predecessors. While nothing on Long Gone And Nearly There is overdone, just about everything leaves you wanting more. The set carries only two songs over three minutes in length, and the whole of the record's 10 tracks transpires in less than a half an hour, so you will be restarting Long Gone about as often as you would flip a vinyl record. We estimate conservatively that we've listened to this record 40 times since receiving it, and we have little doubt that our experience won't be unique once Long Gone And Nearly There hits racks next month. Philadelphia's Transit Of Venus label releases the record May 29. You can stream it in its entirety at Last.FM right now. Click here for those streams, and click below for an MP3 and videos.

Julie Ocean -- "#1 Song" -- Long Gone And Nearly There
[right click and save as]
[pre-order Long Gone And Nearly There from Transit Of Venus here]
[pre-orders ship May 20]

Julie Ocean -- "Ten Lonely Words" [video] -- Long Gone And Nearly There
Julie Ocean -- "Bright Idea" [video] -- Long Gone And Nearly There

Velocity Girl -- "My Forgotten Favorite" -- "My Forgotten Favorite" b/w "Why Should I Be Nice To You?"
[right click and save as]
[buy Velocity Girl recordings from Newbury Comics here]

Julie Ocean: Internets | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

No comments: