Greatest Un-Hits: Fretblanket’s “Into the Ocean” (1997)

Written by Greatest Un-Hits, Music

In the post-Nirvana, post-grunge rock landscape, dominance by a new genre was totally up for grabs. Would it be power pop, a la Matthew Sweet? Lite grunge, or “mallternative”? Britpop? Mallternative (Candlebox, Collective Soul, Seven Mary Three, Third Eye Blind) won in the short-term, but Britpop did make some inroads in the U.S., with Oasis, Blur, the Verve, and Pulp, among others scoring alternative rock and even pop hits.

So then why not Stourbridge, England’s finest, Fretblanket? “Into the Ocean” is an earwormy lost classic, laden with hooks, harmonies, and utter nineties-ness. Also going for it, according to one of the commenters on the song’s video on YouTube (where this clip has a shameful 8,300 hits), the lead singer is “Robert Pattinson pretty.”

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“Into the Ocean” even had an industry push…for a while. It was selected by MTV for its short-lived viewer-panel approval show 12 Angry Viewers. It won the week it was on, with the prize a promised spot on MTV’s (ever-shrinking) playlist and with that some Blur/Verve/Pulp/Oasis levels of success. Neither of those things happened, and Fretblanket slipped away undetected, as if into some massive body of water, or what have you.