Cerulean – Fractions (CD)

Mixing together the guitar lines of Bryan Adams and The Cure along with the vocals of some of the best post-nu wave bands (like The Cure and Depeche Mode), Cerulean comes out of the gates quickly with “Here is Hoping”. Creating an innocuous rock sound, Cerulean continues to amaze – the smooth vocals of Rick provide a perfect hiding space for hard, rocking guitar lines during “Like Fading Stars”. Unlike many bands that play the same general style of the music, Cerulean actually doesn’t neglect their low end, allowing for Jamie’s bass lines to bubble up to the forefront. With the aforementioned “Like Fading Stars”, Cerulean creates an extraordinarily rich sound that panders to all individuals – strummy guitars provide the high while the pseudo-80s arena rock riffs and bass lines give us the low. Their ethereal sound is furthered during the “hump” of the disc, “Stop Running”, which has the added effect of Rick’s vocals providing both lyrical content as well as instrumental doubling with the guitars.

Moving back to the arena rock feel of previous tracks, “Waving in Circles” seems just as comfortable on an eighties radio station as it does in 2004. The guitar solo in “Waving in Circles” is just as intricate as any that can be found currently, sounding similar to those done by Queens of the Stone Age. In fact, the aforementioned track sounds eerily similar to “Go With the Flow”. Finishing up the disc with “Flares & Semaphore”, Disintegration-era Cure guitar lines are interspersed with early XTC-like vocals, all wrapped up in a mode that hides the complicated nature of the song.

“Flares & Semaphore” is the perfect ending to what seems to be a too-short EP, creating the perfect mood for a long drive. Cerulean is a band that absolutely breaks all conceptions I might have had about them – I was waiting to hate them, but they play their music with such a conviction that the style of what they play really doesn’t matter. Flawlessly mixing the arena rock of the eighties, the indie rock of the 90s, and the emotive nature of the early years of the 21st century, Cerulean is a band that I foresee grabbing that brass ring and really making something of themselves in the next few years. The Fractions EP shows that musically, they are already where they need to be, but they deserve more than simple musical praise!

Top Track: Here Is Hoping

Cerulean – Fractions / 5 Tracks / 2004 Spinwheel Records / http://www.ceruleanmusic.com / ceruleanmusic@earthlink.net / Released 03 March 2004 / Reviewed 18 April 2004

Rating: 7.3/10

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