The World and Everything In It
Sometimes it’s beneficial to have friends in high places. They get you into shows, pass you free drinks when no one’s looking, grant you pardons from felony charges, etc. But often, when your friends are far more established than you, it’s easier for you to be overlooked.
Enter the Oranges Band, namedroppers extraordinaire, who despite their blazing new record called The World and Everything In It, have every unfortunate chance of being eclipsed by their powerful peers. Boasting a frontman who used to play bass in a little band called Spoon, a long-standing friendship with Craig Finn of the Hold Steady, and a continuing tour history that includes bills with Guided by Voices and Ted Leo, the Oranges Band are standing in the shadow of the Fortune 500 of indie rock. And this is all before factoring in frontman Roman Kuebler’s connections from running one of Baltimore’s only decent rock clubs, the Talking Head.
Recorded in the band’s basement, with as many guests as can fit on a 35-minute record, the new album manages to glean some finer points from the band’s Rolodex without using it as a crutch. ‘Believe’ and ‘White Ride’ lean on crunchy, Spoon-friendly riffs, but the substance of Kuebler’s Morrisey-esque voice is a welcome alternative to Britt Daniel’s straight-ahead style. As is to be expected when three out of 11 songs have the word “ride” in the title (not to mention coming from a band named after a citrus fruit), The World and Everything In It is a near perfect summer album, equal parts surf-riding lyrics and chugging guitars. While there’s certainly no shortage of eighth-note riff rock bands vying for some ear space, the Oranges Band would demand attention even if they were a bunch of friendless loners.