The Oranges Band

All Around

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The Oranges Band's full-length debut for Lookout! is a collection of literate indie rock tunes built around the expressive vocals of Roman Kuebler and a dueling lead guitar setup (courtesy of Dan Black and Virat Shukla) that can bust up quite a racket when it wants to. Tracks like "My Street" and "Keep Your Teeth" are tightly wound numbers that recall Guided by Voices or even the Strokes, while Kuebler's croon takes over on "All That Money (You'll Get Over It)." This isn't necessarily a bad thing -- it's refreshing to hear an actual singer fronting an independent rock band again, even if his loquacious, busy delivery can be off-putting at times. The title track is one of these times; on it, Kuebler resembles a dinner jacket version of Guy Picciotto. The song's faux Fugazi dub doesn't help this comparison. Things get back on track with the first single, "OK Apartment." One of those songs with meaningless lyrics that are nevertheless really fun to sing along to, "OK Apartment" stumbles giddily toward its final, inevitable Radiohead punch line and should kick off numerous mix tapes for years to come. Unfortunately, the Oranges Band can't sustain their head of steam during All Around's second half. Rather than crunchy guitars, "I'm Still Right (Still)" and "The Trees on My Street" boldly employ a horn section, while synthesizers appear in "Oh Madalene." It's true that ringing guitar heroics don't make the world go 'round. But All Around's second half makes it apparent that the Oranges Band are better at indie rock anthemics than they are at mid-tempo atmospherics.

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