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The Orwells – Lays at Rest album review

I have to admit that I agree with the general consensus surrounding this band. The thinking moves along the lines of, ‘These guys are roughly 17? Damn.’ To be honest, I don’t love the album, the groups third, but it is well written and the production values suit the mood of the music.

In its own way, from a philosophical point of view, this is like Milo Goes To College- a perfect document of the mind and point of view of a gang of teenaged boys. ‘Philosophical’ is used here to indicate thought process and paradigm- The Orwells music is nothing like Descendents.

Now that the preliminary musings are out of the way, let’s talk a bit about the music. One of the other things that I find really appealing about them is that the visual aesthetic jives with the music in a really cohesive way. A self-proclaimed ‘flower punk’ band, there is a definite strain of old school garage rock and proto-punk running through their sound. And, again, they’ve managed to capture their sound in their show flyers and what appear to be a smattering of promo shots – slightly out of focus, tousled hair, cigarettes in mouth, leather jackets and tight jeans- but it plays out in more of a greaser/Outsiders kind of way than just stereotypical punk.

The album plays as though the band puts on a killer live show. Check out the vocals on ‘Suspended’; the vocalist knows how to belt it out, impending polyps be damned. But, the boy has it- an in tune wail that emotes quite intensely. To get a good introduction to the band, check out ‘Painted Faces and Long Hair’. This track is a perfect example of their ability to create a solid, good old fashioned hook; the effect, in its’ overall impact, is something along the lines of Queen Bitch, off of Bowie’s Hunky Dory.

As the album plays, the thought dawns that this band is hitting me harder than I thought they would- but for some reason, the first track hasn’t jived with me, and it negatively influenced the impression I got. So, scratch what I said at the beginning of this pile of words- these guys rock, and you owe it to yourself to check them out. I’m out.

By Paul Paradis

Paul is a musician, writer, and teacher living in Tacoma. When not engaged in the endless task of raising his six year old whirling dervish James Sparhawk, he spends his time creating music, pursuing a bachelor's, working out, and living. He is originally from the east coast: Worcester, Mass. born, and Providence, RI bred. Having traveled around some, the Pacific Northwest tends to feel more and more like home with each passing day, Very similar to New England in some ways, but different in a way that is refreshing. Rock on.

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