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Julie Ocean

Long Gone and Nearly There

(Transit Of Venus; US: 27 May 2008; UK: 2 Jun 2008)

Review [11.Jun.2008]

Tight, sugary and saturated with bubbly pop. Think Fountains Of Wayne, Sloan or Velvet Crush and a song such as “Ten Lonely Words” becomes crystal clear in a delightfully brisk two minutes. The co-vocalists and guitarists Jim Spellman and Terry Banks have great harmonies that bring to mind The Hollies or Dave Clark Five on the bouncy, chipper “#1 Song” and the equally tight, catchy “My Revenge”. Meanwhile, things slow down slightly with the infectious “At the Appointed Hour” with more classic Brit-pop flavoring. This band sounds like they would be perfect if paired up with Bishop Allen on tour or Weezer’s support act judging by how well the lengthy, slow burner “Here Comes Danny” comes off. Another little nugget and perhaps the album’s sleeper pick is the somewhat roots-y “Complications”. And if there was any doubts about the band’s chops, they keep the momentum going with another Kinks-meets-Elvis Costello jewel entitled “There’s a Place (In the Back of My Mind)”. Oddly enough, this is the type of band who will hopefully stay in the back of one’s mind for a long time.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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