Welcome to the World of. . . Orange, brought to you in Real World fashion by a teen-aged quartet determined to leave their mark for all to see. In best new-school fashion, the group borrow copiously from the past, swearing allegiance to such salubrious heroes as the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and Social Distortion, and proudly waving their flags across their debut disc. A little more uniquely, however, Orange squeeze their influences together, slashing, clashing,and mashing their heroes into the juiciest blends of punk. The Pistols' stomp, the Clash's whooping chords, and Social D's raffing riffs, all whirl across the grooves simultaneously, as bursts of the Heartbreakers, Buzzcocks, the rage of Oi!, and in the case of "Ghetto Blasta," a rhythm reminiscent of Linton Kwesi Johnson are picked up in the gale. But don't let their U.K.-heavy sound and Joe Denman's English-accented vocals fool you, Orange don't hail from that green and pleasant land, at least not anymore. Guitarist Jack Berglund and the singer/bassist may be British-born, but both were raised in Hollywood along with school friend and guitarist Mike Valentine and Texas-born drummer Zak Glosserman. Thus a paean to their hometown appropriately kicks off this set, a not quite jaundiced, but neither glittering, celebration of all that "Hollywood" represents. Beverly Hills 90210 it ain't. Still filled with questions -- "Why Won't She Go Out With Me," why do Mexicans always look cooler than them, easily angered, Orange bleeds "Attitude," their life a "Rollercoaster" ride. But the group's teen angst and anger is tempered with a natural enthusiasm and optimism that's echoed in their music and melodies, a joie de vivre that defies the anarcho-destruction implicit in old-school punk and turns it straight on its head. The band never do find a word to rhyme with "orange" (how about "blancmange"?), a fact they bemoan on their final track. But never mind, for all their questioning they still manage to answer a poser that's haunted many bands twice their age -- how to pay tribute to the past without sounding derivative. Old-school sound with a defiantly new flavor, Orange supplies a welcome dose of urgency and energy to a genre seemingly reaching its sell-by date.
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AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene