Here's a nice blast of chunky pop-rock for waking you up from that
summer torpor. The Oranges Band is a Baltimore outfit headed
by singer/guitarist Roman Kuebler, who's been around for quite
a while, starting off with Road To Space Travel and including
a stint as Spoon's touring guitarist in the early '00s. The
band has now stabilized around Kuebler, bassist Patrick Martin
and drummer Dave Voyles, and had a significant addition for
this record in the person of ex-Guided By Voices guitarist
Kuebler, Martin and Voyles wrote the songs for ...Are Invisible
as a 3-piece, but recorded them as a 4-piece with Gillard fully integrated
into the band. The approach sure paid off - every song is high energy
power pop/rock with crunching guitars and some real bollocks to the
"Ottobar Afterhours" (referring to a bar in Baltimore,
which even has its own MySpace page at www.myspace.com/theottobar!)
is a killer kick-off, starting with thrumming bass and pounding drums,
then some raucous guitar. It does remind quite a bit of Guided By
Voices, with Kuebler sounding somewhat like Robert Pollard,
but there's also echoes of The Smithereens' melodic power and
even a little bit of Swervedriver's unique attack. Things get
a bit lighter in the middle of the record, with the cruising "Gordon's
Nightclub", followed by the clipped guitar (a dead ringer for
Buzzcocks' gem "Why Can't I Touch It ?"), semi falsetto
vocals and female backing vox on "When Your Mask Is Your Revealing
Feature". I like that title!
Also worthy of note near the end of the album is "Absolutely
(Instru)Mental" - which is not as crazy as it sounds, but a nice,
multi part 4-piece workout; reminiscent of The Damned's "Smash
It Up parts 1/2". The final track "Toulouse-Lautrec"
picks up the pace again with some squalling guitar noise leading into
another rave-up. Gear!
Get your hands on The Oranges Band Are Invisible if you like
your power pop on the meaty, '60s Who/GBV side, and watch out
for live dates - I bet this stuff smokes on stage.
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