The Oranges Band: The World and Everything in It
“He lived down the ocean/ never went to the beach at all,” coos Roman Kuebler on “Open Air,” the third track on the Oranges Band’s second proper Lookout! release. And that’s bad, ’cause in the Oranges Band’s world, it’s always summer, and anything not having to do with sand, sun, and surf just isn’t worth singing about, man. Baltimore’s favorite indie-pop sons continue to make innocuous, cheerful music that sounds custom-made for barbecues, beach Walkmans, and California dreaming—eschewing experimentation and innovation to perfect its ultracatchy pop hooks and stuttering surf-rock guitar. And if you like that kind of thing, the Oranges do it damn well. The group’s debut full-length, All Around, felt uneven despite the band’s keen ear for melody, but Kuebler and Co. stay on task this time around. First single “Ride the Nuclear Wave” is Brian Wilson-quality pop with a ridiculously fun shout-along “Oh oh oh oh” in the chorus. “Drug City” shambles and swings along with barbershop-quartet-esque backing vocals. “Ride the Wild Wave”—see, the band really likes the beach—is a dreamy ballad that rollicks along on a ’50s pop drumbeat. And while “I’ll Never Be Alone” sounds just a little bit too much like the band’s earlier “Oh, Madalene,” for the most part, these aspiring California boys have staked out a sunnier spot on the beach blanket. For more information, visit www.lookoutrecords.com.