Looking like a cross between the Fun Lovin’ Criminals and the cast of Donnie Brasco, Orson grabs the limelight even before their music is heard. So it’s a good thing that the songs on Bright Idea more than live up to the hype, exhibiting punchy, occasionally quirky rock with a real commercial edge.
The superb title track is a blend of sassy rock and pure pop melody. It marks out lead singer Jason Pebworth as a star front man in the making, thanks to his great voice and the self-confident delivery of someone who has had roles in Broadway musicals Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar. The power-pop of “Already Over” begs comparisons with Butch Walker. The urgency and verve of “Tryin’ To Help” contrast wonderfully with the laid-back ’70s vibe of “Look Around.” The catchy groove of “No Tomorrow” demonstrates the variety of the band’s writing, as it intertwines some spiky guitars, breathless vocals and retro-flavored keys. “Happiness” combines a Stones-y riff with a soulful chorus. Throughout, Noah Shain (producer) and Evan Frankfort (mixer) give the songs a slick, crisp, yet somehow understated production.
Packed with undeniably cool, original and memorable tunes, Bright Idea proves that LA’s best-kept secret can’t remain under wraps for too much longer.