The Oranges Band

The World & Everything in It

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With their second full-length, The World & Everything in It, the Oranges Band doesn't rewrite the indie rock handbook; more like they follow it in note-perfect style and form and in such a familiar way (Spoon, New Pornographers, Guided by Voices, Yo La Tengo, new wave influence, etc.) that your initial inclination might be to dismiss them as generic wannabes. Stick around though and you just might be won over. They may not be treading new ground, but they rehash the recent past in an energetic and exciting fashion. Roman Kuebler's reedy, sideways-glance vocals never oversell the songs, the group's performances are wiry and tense at times, sunny and expansive at others, and most importantly they reel off an impressive batch of whip-smart and catchy tunes. "I'll Never Be Alone," "Ride the Wild Wave," "Atmosphere," and "White Ride" are tough-as-spit rockers that would make any indie rock band proud with their shimmering hooks and knowing stance, likewise the moody and more atmospheric numbers like the Spoon-lite opener "Believe" or the charging "Open Air." When they take chances like on the title track with its dubby keyboards and mood shifts or "Evil's Where You Want It to Be," you get a sense of the artier and intenser direction the band could go in. They are also the weakest songs on the record and make you wonder, why take chances when what works for you works so well? And this album does work in a very pleasing, safe, warm, and nostalgic kind of way. Liking the Oranges Band might make you a badge-wearing indie dork, but it's a badge you can wear with the same kind of pride you take in being friends with the kid who all the cool kids disdain.

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