If it wasn’t for the chocolate bar… The Ocean Blue would be Hersey, Pennsylvania’s pride and joy. The indie pop band consisting of David Schelzel (lead vocals/guitar), Steve Lau (keyboards/saxophone), Bobby Mittan (bass), and Rob Minnig (drums and vocals) formed in 1986 while in high school.
The band was signed to Sire Records in 1988 and released their debut self-titled studio album just months after high school graduation in 1989. The Ocean Blue’s sound is heavily influenced by modern rock icons such as Echo and The Bunnymen, New Order, The Smiths, R.E.M., and Cocteau Twins. The band enjoyed early success when MTV placed the singles “Between Something and Nothing” and “Drifting Falling” in heavy rotation in the shows 120 Minutes and Post-Modern MTV. Their busy schedule right out of the gate included an appearance on one of the first episodes of Club MTV with Downtown Julie Brown and an extensive tour supporting The Mighty Lemon Drops and John Wesley Harding throughout 1989 (which I attended at the Metropol in Pittsburgh).
Their sophomore album Cerulean was the band’s most successful in terms of sales and highest chart position. The 1991 album charted the modern rock singles “Ballerina Out Of Control” and “Mercury.” The band’s third effort, and final release with Sire was the 1993 album Beneath The Rhythm & Sound, that produced the band’s only U.S. Top 40 single “Sublime.”
Over the years The Ocean Blue have released six studio albums:
The Ocean Blue (1989)
Beneath The Rhythm & Sound (1993)
Davy Jones’ Locker (1999)
After juggling music and professional careers over the last fifteen years, the band finally released their most recent album Ultramarine back on March 19. The current line-up includes only Schelzel and Mittan as the two original members, along with Ode Ronne who joined the band in 1994, and newest member Peter Anderson. Recently, the band has toured in support of the new album Ultramarine, which I consider among their best work.
Check out the video “Between Something and Nothing” here:
Check out the video “Ballerina Out Of Control” here:
Check out the video “Sublime” here:
Download Ultramarine here: