The Oranges Band The World & Everything in It

[Lookout!; 2005]

Rating: 2/5

Styles: garage/indie/punk rock, pop rock
Others: The Clean, The Reputation, The Essex Green

Sometimes no matter how well a band executes their ideas, they still don't provide much to which a listener can cling. This is the problem presented by the Oranges Band's 4th LP since their 2002 debut, On TV; and while I haven't heard much of the band's previous output, I have a suspicion that The World & Everything in It isn't a sharp left turn from those records. Jangly guitars and airy vocals, courtesy of Spoon collaborator Roman Kuebler (who also produced the album in a basement studio); arrangements that strafe between dreamy (the title track) and driving ("Mountain"); and a tight rhythm section here combine for a sound that's less than the sum of its parts. These are songs often distinguishable from one another only by which distortion pedal is being used. It's pleasant stuff, not a far cry from New Zealand rock like The Clean or David Kilgour's recent solo effort Frozen Orange, and it bears the same markings of craftsmanship and maturity, but without the quirks that makes Kilgour's album a notch more interesting. Simply put, The Oranges Band are good at what they do, but The World & Everything in It seems destined to function as background music rather than as a focus for rapt listening.

1. Believe
2. Ride the Wild Wave
3. Open Air
4. White Ride
5. Ride the Nuclear Wave
6. The World & Everything in It
7. Mountain
8. I'll Never Be Alone
9. Drug City
10. Atmosphere
11. Evil's Where You Want to Be