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Fretblanket

Polygram, 1997

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fretblanket

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/30/2017

Now here’s an interesting story. This British band that became briefly popular in the States between Britpop and electronica is best remembered (if at all) for two songs, “Twisted” and “Into The Ocean.” The latter contained a video that spoofed Bond films and got some decent rotation on MTV2 back in the day.

Coming three and a half years after their first record, they came back with fresh new modern haircuts and a full grunge sound courtesy of producer Tim Patalan, best known for working with Sponge. This is a record I had not listened to since I was about 12, still a young’n, but it has kind of grown on me since then.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Into The Ocean” is still a fantastic song twenty years later, featuring great riffs, a walloping beat, and some great vocals from frontman Will Copley. This is definitely one of the most underrated and forgotten alternative rock songs of the late ‘90s. Having not heard this record or really been able to find it in almost 20 years, I was quite surprised by it. “Why Can’t I Sleep” is another great rocker and showed that these guys actually had some talent.

“Killer In A Former Life” is a detour into acoustic territory and it doesn’t work, not at all. But they were able to prove that they were a bit better than their contemporaries. These guys were better than bands like Gene, Kitchens Of Distinction, or Kula Shaker. “Black Tambourine” is an interesting rocker but not one of my personal favorites.

“Accident En Route” is another great song, and this time, they make the acoustics work to their advantage. There are great harmonies toward the end as well. The band picks up the pace with some quick tracks to wrap up the disc. “Me And The Stars” is another acoustic, quiet number that would’ve been better off as a B-side. “Green As Green” is just okay but doesn’t go very far.

Though this band wasn’t around long and disbanded sometime around 1998, this record is very admirable and better than at least 70% of the alt rock records from this era. The record has been out of print for years and doesn’t appear to be available digitally, but it’s a worth another listen for those who still enjoy alternative rock from a better era.

Rating: B-

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