Orange – Escape From LA

If their debut album, ‘Welcome To The World Of Orange’ was an incarnation of late 70s feral punk and a battle-cry for youthful exuberance, then this follow up by the cutting Californian based Orange, represents a mature reflection upon it. However, it still contains gusto and bite. ‘Not Coming Home’, features sturdy riffs and a fuzzy bass slot that flits over to good old R N’ R and Rockabilly, showing that their defiant edge is still present, but it has been grooved out slightly by some reflection. Joe Dexter’s voice has grown in depth and controlled heart, as he makes the musical of obstacle of playing bass and singing at the same time, easier than finding a legal technicality to keep Pete Doherty out of jail. ‘Get The Fuck Out Of My Way’, uses Sham 69 backing to revive that ‘balls to it all’ philosophy that punk once so proudly proclaimed.

Overall, the grit and grizzle of Rancid is dipped into an old school punk pot and sprayed with that Less Than Jake frivolity to represent a kind of guide to the different impact that punk has had over the years. That said, ‘What I’m Looking For’ represents the sort of song you can imagine The Cribs writing during a moment of clarity. Orange still very much dips into their ever broadening pit of influences. ‘The Last Punk In LA’, bears out a tightness that bands of this ilk can take three albums to achieve. In this instance, drummer Zak Glosserman controls the beat, tempo and pace as well as an accomplished DJ. Romantic cynicism and discovery makes ‘Too Scared To Fall In Love’ a High School anthem to be proud of. A Johnny Rotten spirited spit out at Bush and company in ‘Repblicans’, proves that politics can be made simple through punk, don’t listen to what Janet Street-Porter says. The winding rip through Culture Club’s ‘Karma Chameleon’, displays proudly, an adventurous you’d expect from four explorative, attitude gushing young scamps.

This album is a good a black-lash against the falseness often associated with LA from guys who live their lives there. It presents a perspective that you don’t often appreciate through the media’s representation of the place and the people who live there. Pop-punk, punk, rock n’ roll or rockabilly? Whatever it amounts to for Orange, they’re not scared to speak out and have fun while they’re at it.

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