Orange Range

Orange Range

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Orange Range have made a name for themselves through their self-proclaimed eclecticism. Based in Okinawa, the band grew up with additional musical influences from the West thanks to the nearby U.S. military presence. Fusing multiple styles (primarily rap and rock), they formed a basic formulaic approach to music in the realm of a poor man's Linkin Park, and continued performing it to great success. The catch is that there are a number of other Japanese bands that have successfully fused hip-hop and rock in varying degrees (from the poppy Bennie K duo to the numerous boy bands and their explorations of genre). The few high spots here tend to be when the band is clearly breaking away from their stated interests. When the band takes on reggae in "Fire Bun," it gets interesting -- not necessarily at the level of other reggae outfits or J-reggae outfits, but interesting. Otherwise, though, Orange Range offers very little new in their self-titled album, only more of the same, and the songs tend to blur together, without true standouts. Each piece is a dense work filled with the basic sludgy guitar riffs and production after-effects that make up much of the sound. The vocals tend to get lost behind the instrumentation more often than not, and offer nothing striking when they do find their way to the front of the mix. Wait for a compilation and give this one a pass.

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