Oranger

    Welcome to the World Of

    4

    In
    2001, I was a teenager living in a suburb of Los Angeles, easing my way
    out of a pop-punk phase but still a fan of bands such as Sum 41, Green
    Day and Weezer. Which means I have something in common with the boys of
    Orange.

    [more:]

    Yes, boys.
    New to Hellcat as of February 2005, members of Orange were born at the
    tail end of the 1980s, making them young enough to be the illegitimate
    children of Hellcat’s older musicians (have you seen some of
    the recent news headlines?). Of course, age shouldn’t play a large role
    in music, because either a band is good or it’s not. And in a case like
    this, the band is strong enough to hold its own within its current
    league of new punk bands. Still, age can’t be discounted completely,
    because it’s the sole factor in many of the band’s flaws. But it also
    keeps the record fresh, and it means they’ll have time to get it right.

    Two
    of the band’s members guitarist Jack Berglund and vocalist/bassist
    Joe Denman were born in England and raised in Hollywood, and while
    the Brit factor can’t really explain Berglund’s affinity for lipstick
    (which complements his braces well, by the way), it certainly gives
    Denman a vocal advantage that works to separate Orange from other bands
    in its genre. The band’s
    too-polished-to-be-genuine-but-entertaining-enough brand of Oi! has
    likely progressed since Denman and now-guitarist Mike Valentine began
    as a pair of bassists in 2001. Even so, with new punk bands holding
    down a reputation as to put it lightly schmaltzy crap, Orange is
    different not only because of the members’ youth, but also by Denman’s
    charming, swaggering voice, which sounds strangely identical to that of
    the Libertines’ Carl Barat.

    But
    there’s something to be said for experience’s influence on lyrics.
    Within this group of eleven brief tracks, little stands out except for
    their lyrical absurdity, the most churlish of which are found on “Cool
    Mexicans.” Painfully literal, sure. But lines such as “You know Lord
    loves a Mexicanpitch black hair/ they don’t care/ platinum teeth/
    white underwear” merely add to the awkward charm of the band.

    I
    can forgive the band’s anthem “Orange” due to its having been written
    when Denman was thirteen (it asks “How come nothing rhymes with
    ‘orange?” and was the band’s first original song amid an initial period
    of covers), but it’s quite easy to tire of all the excessive middle
    fingers that get thrown about. But really, isn’t a seventeen-year old
    more likely to add “Fuck off and die, you motherfucking piece of shit”
    (“Forgive and Forget”) to a song than his elder counterpart? One would
    hope, anyway. Give them a few years to lose the faux attitude and Hot
    Topic attire, and we just might have a catch on our hands.

    “Hollywood” MP3

    “Cool Mexicans” MP3

    “No Rest for the Weekend” MP3

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