Escape From L.A.
Orange is one of those bands that is a copy of a copy of a copy… so xeroxed that the group has somewhat legitimized itself, if only through the sheer determination to be taken seriously as a traditional punk band. Vocalist Joe Dexter sings with a slight British accent, even though the band’s from Los Angeles and that can grate some nerves, but, hey, it worked for both Billie Joe and Tim Armstrong (no relation — but odd that both Green Day and Rancid frontmen share the same last name).
These guys still wear their influences on their sleeves (“The Last Punk in L.A.” is horribly close to any number of Rancid tunes… but a good song all the same), but their second go-around on Hellcat Records, Escape From L.A., is more developed than their first, and it’s got some sticky songs that could win over the hardest sell. “Get The Fuck Out of My Way,” a song as joyful as it is bitter and determined, has been rolling around in my brain since the first time I listened to it. This song alone could catapult this band onto bigger stages. These guys are at their best when they’re hanging on the power chords and dual vocals (“What I’m Looking For,” “Stars”).
Be wary of the strangely chosen Culture Club cover of “Karma Chameleon.” I guess it’s supposed to be amusing, but all their sped-up version of Boy George’s most famous song does for me is make me realize how much it sounds like the theme song to Laverne and Shirley. Maybe they should have done “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” instead.