Life for Ocean Colour Scene sure has changed since they were ever-so-high on the Britpop food chain, playing second fiddle only to the kings of the heap, Oasis. Since then, the Good Ship Britpop has capsized, Ocean Colour Scene frontman Simon Fowler has let his sexual preference be known to the public and the quartet have released a few decent albums, but nothing that has risen to the levels of Moseley Shoals. Fast forward to 2003 and the band has now been inked to Sanctuary Records and released an album, North Atlantic Drift, with, amazingly, a good handful of catchy tunes. ìMake The Deal,î adds late ë50s/early ë60s percussion and sweeping strings to Fowlerís emotive vocals, while the first single and album opener, ìI Just Need Myself,î brings to mind their more rocking ë60s mod-influenced tunes, as do the back-to-back rompy-stompy numbers ìFor Every Cornerî and ìOn My Way.î The best song, however, is the second on the album. ìOh Collectorî has all the makings of an anthem, especially were it still the heady days of 1996. You can just see the army of flag-waving, lighter-holding, arms-in-the-air OCS fans stretching off to the horizon at Glastonbury/V/Reading. Sadly, OCS isnít playing any of these festivals this year, but with songs like these, maybe someone should have given them the benefit of the doubt.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN