Between Something and Nothing – The Ocean Blue and Goodbye – The Sundays

Both of these are bands that I saw a couple times while I was in college, and then saw again a few years after college, and both songs are probably my favorites from their respective catalogs. And both songs illustrate what I really like about each band. There becomes a point in guitar oriented music where technical ability can only take you so far. The hair metal bands that were contemporaries of each of these groups may have had guys that could play 800 notes per second, but there’s something to be said for restraint, and both Dave Schelzel and Dave Gavurin seemed to know how to say it.

Pay close attention to the bridges/guitar solos in these songs, and you’ll hear some serious repetition, especially on BSAN. Both solos sound like they don’t require a great deal of digital dexterity to play. But both solos are really the high points of their respective songs, that part of the song that you can’t wait to hear when the track starts, but you can’t fast forward to it when the song starts or you lose the payoff.

I’m not going to speculate as to whether or not he was a major influence on either or both, but the real master of this “repetition as perfection” technique is Will Sergeant. Listen to the solo work on Echo and the Bunnymen’s “New Direction” or “The Killing Moon” sometime and you’ll see what I mean.

Also, Harriet Wheeler was really hot.

PP adds: The Ocean Blue song was always one of my faves, and a secret mixtape weapon, not too big of a hit, but the ladies sure did appreciate. I think it took me years to get around to listening to the lyrics, which are not as good as the rest of the song. Both are super quality, though.

Between Something and Nothing- The Ocean Blue

Goodbye- The Sundays

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