Music Reviews

The Orange Peels

So Far


It isn’t until the fourth or fifth song on So Far that The Orange Peels fall into their voice. The beginning of this record is more a tribute to California than it is an enjoyable music experience. Homage and sun n’ surf metaphors aside, you will absorb plenty of flanged stereo voices, high-hat and cymbal loveliness, and a well-constructed mix.

The comparisons The Orange Peels attract might be a little generous on first listen. The music press feels this is similar to a Byrds record. Although I partly disagree, I can see how those tendencies creep into the better, later songs. This is as much The Byrds as it is elements of Rocketship (minus the twee-shoegaze thang) and the indie-tinged-era Sloan recordings.

The brilliance in this record is found in falsetto lyrics like “you make it hard/hard living here.” (Very similar to The Byrds’ “it’s so hard being here without you,” don’t ya think?) These are well-crafted songs of the 1960s, devoid of wannabe cheesiness or irreverent rock-star wankdom. The shakers and maracas flesh out the best snare sound I have heard in years. How can you dislike a song with the line “the records we used to love/Are in the yard collecting dust,” while a snare rattles under warm, finger-picked melodies?

The future of this band will hopefully part completely from the indie-rock elements that define the first few tracks. When they are on, they are a tight, melodic, harmonious, and thoughtful group that not only write warm songs, but know how to record a real record.

spinART Records, PO Box 1798, New York, NY 10156;

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