Review: Various Artists – A Tale Of Rotten Orange (2010) (Part I)

tale-of-roten-orange-LPA compilation with some undiscovered tracks and great punk acts from the US. First song is by the band Druglords of the Avenues, which is titled “This is a Pig“. Which feature some of the well-known punk-elements that deserve to be in the foreground, with rapid drums and an interesting anthemic touch to it. Reminding about the sorely missed days of the earlier punk eras of mainly the end of the 80’s and the beginning, but also middle of the 90’s. The drums are absolutely ravaging the sound-scape as it gives you an adrenaline injection in an instant. Some of it is nostalgic, but the singing blokes in this song heighten it and make it a great track for starters. Which makes the need for a continuing punk-overdose even more thought about. Next up is the band Disguster with the song “My Kick“, which doesn’t escalate in such frightful tempos as the first one. But it certainly doesn’t lack the original punk-sound of the beginning of the end for the 70’s, coming off with a more rock-oriented phase of the punk rock sound. The singer’s voice may not hold up such a sound-scape, but he at least has the ambition to drive it further and the sound-scape doesn’t lack anything that it should’ve needed. But sometimes you feel a need to wake the singer up a little bit more and tune him up a notch, but it is all fine in the end, because its a pretty good song overall.

SIDE 1

As we continually make our way through, the next one up is the band Narcoleptic Youth with their song “Baby Doll Parade“, which sound like the earlier days of Green Day mixed with some The Offspring. This really feels like something that could’ve came out in the 90’s and it’s got that melodic touch to it which makes it a contender for that sound. At times it sounds ridiculous and not in the style that I would prefer, but I think it’s a pretty nice addition to an overall punk-themed compilation. Since there’s a lot of great acts coming out of the US that had the melodic sound, but I don’t think they provoke any feelings for me, unfortunately. However, the lyrical content may be pretty basic, but it revives the “funny-vein” in me. So next is the band The Piss Pops with their song “Pop Culture Land“, which seems to be a kick in the groin to the shallow pop-culture of Americana. I really like how the song orientates itself around a nice baseline, which reminds me a lot of the glory days for some of the punk bands that I’ve heard in the past. Even though the arrangements may seem primitive at first, they pucker you up and leave you tasting some of the well-deserved lemon bits that you’re in sore need of. It’s a great song when you plow through it on a regular basis, because after a while it really gets to you and the catchyness of it makes you want to listen to it even more. As the song ends the next band called The Dogs come on with their song “You Can’t Catch Me” which really brings it back to the rock-oriented roots that are supposed to be. It makes me really nostalgic when I think about it and I could compare the singer to James Hetfield, because it sounds almost exactly like him, or at least from the earlier years of Metallica. It’s got that nice American touch to it which I like very much, which could really fit any sub-genre of rock or any genre that is influenced by it. An overall good song with loads of qualities, when it comes to both the sound and the singer’s presentation in it.

Which takes us to the next song on this compilation, which is brought to you by the band Crazy Squeeze, titled “All Lies“. Something about this song resembles a lot of grunge-qualities but at the same time the “take the road“-attitude of bands like ZZ Top, I could basically see myself riding on a motorbike, forgetting about the girl I loved. Great riffs that squeeze through the simple marginals and make the whole sound-scape a lot better. It spices up things and takes you for a ride you’ll never forget, even though the singer’s droopiness can be a turn off at times, it’s a great song. As you are in the need of some change, you get it with the band The Boners and their song “Gone Numb” which really doesn’t stray from the rock-orientation that much, but it has that crispy lo-fi feeling in the sound-scape. All that raw and primitive force is being delivered to you, right in your face and you can’t deny the existence of it. Just like punk should be and how they portray themselves as you listen to it. There’s some serious attitude behind this song and it blows some of the songs on this compilation out of the water. For starters, the next band I-9 and their song “Doomsday” remind me a lot of some popular heavy metal band that you’ve heard in the past. As I hear the intro-riffing, it comes clear to me that it is Iron Maiden. I’m not sure if it’s a cover of any song, but it reminds me a lot of one of their songs. Which is a good thing all-in-all, but maybe not that original when everything “comes by“. However, I think the song has some charm and they deliver it pretty great, so I’m sure everyone that have been a fan or is, would love this.

Next up is the band The Crowd and their song “Masquerade“, which sounds like the child of a mixture between British punk rock and classic 77′ punk-rock from Sweden, with a pretty melodic vein. It’s got some qualities that some other songs lack and the arrangement is beautiful when it comes to the song and it delivers the bordering punk-rock with rock-attitude. Last song on Side 1 is presented to us by the band Social Task and it’s titled “Hangin’ Around“, which reminds me of the heyday-sound of much oi-bands from Britain like early Cock Sparrer but certainly also Condemned 84, with an aggressive yet short outburst of riffing and oi-attitude. Even though it’s one of the shortest songs on this side of the pond, I think it brings back some of the much missed original sound that great oi-bands produced. Some would name it street-punk, I would name it oi-punk. Or maybe a combination between the two.

SIDE 2

Time to get on Side 2 of the story. It’s being fronted by the band Broken Bottles with their song “I’ll Dress You“, which manages to sound a little bit like the classic oi-punk, but at the same time keep an edge to the more melodic punk. Pretty good song with an over melancholic side to itself, concluding the first track of this side with a bang of regular good and old oi-punk with lent elements. Next to this one is the band The Hitchhikers with their song “The Astral Plane“, which really brings out the more anthemic side of themselves. There’s a lot of anthemic songs on this compilation, which is a great thing, since there ain’t a lot out there if you check the new stuff. Their blend of casual melodic punk, garage and a little hint of rock makes it a huge success. The riffs are catchy, the whole landscape of the song completely demolishes the sanity you’ll have left. Only thing that bugs me, is that the song is too slow. They should’ve turned the tempo up a notch, because then it’d leave me hanging along. But on the other hand, it’s a great song none the less.

After this, we’re in good company with the band Bonecrusher and their song “It’s Yours Today“, which leaves a lot of in-your-face punk with a structured background. What’s great about this isn’t the sound-scape itself, but the vocalist of the band. His voice heightens the experience of the punk’n’roll thing going on. He’s got an attitude that is fitting for this discourse, unfortunately the sound-scape doesn’t hold the same standard. Regular punk from the states, is what I would say. As we’re getting even further into the whole experience, the band Smogtown graze us with their song “Skate Ditch” which really pulls an interesting approach to skate-punk, which really rocks the socks off of us. Their lyrical content makes the experience even more worthwhile, it’s short and concise, bringing you the basic message of this swinging form of punk right to your front porch. Short, but stout. Which leaves us nothing but continuation, as we proceed with the band The Junk with their song “I ain’t listening“, which reminds me of the now disbanded (but great) band The Last Resort. Bringing some of that skinhead style, as you know we all dig a lot. Even though it’s more of an classic UK punk experience, they have a little bit of that street-punk characteristics within their song. At times it almost sounds British, which would be a great criteria to judge upon. Great song, with a lot of elements that are easy to grasp.

There’s a lot of this on this side of the pond, as the band Fork Tailed Devils with their song “To Her Knees“, really continues the whole street-punk feeling you can’t get enough of. The difference here is the riffing, the vocalist and the more rock’n’roll-oriented sound. Making you want to go bananas as you listen to it. Certainly fixating your eyes upon the mosh, just to get into it. Really one of those bands you’d rather hear live than in the studio, because of their momentum in the song. The one thing that really set the premises for the song is the baseline, which is as great as it can be. A dark baseline streamlined throughout the song, knocking you down on the floor with it. As it ends, it brings another band to the table by the name of Killing California with their song titled “Blame Bukowski“. It’s probably one of the better songs I’ve heard on this side of the vinyl, it brings a lot of nostalgia into my head and it also brings a nice edge to the melodic punk at hand. There’s a lot of attitude involved, almost bordering to a hardcore sound. Crashing cymbals to the left, insane riffs to the right and a singer that is certainly not willing to compromise – on anything. The chorus is the thing that makes this song as great as it can be. When you’re waiting for it, you receive it at just the right time, when you need it. Fucking great song overall and it really stunned me when I listened through it a couple of times in a row.

Next band up is The Loyals with their song “Day Of Pain” which has a large doses of that classic American hardcore sound, but bringing it to punk instead. If there’s one song that would make me commit to skating, it would be this one. It’s really a great song which offers a lot of precise riffing, a melodic vein which can be called true melodic, gives a little bit of speed as an injection to this side too. Some of the more catchy melodic punk also, executed perfectly and without a shade of doubt. Coming up is the next band The Stitches with their song “Monday Morning Ornaments“, which sounds really naive, utilizes a lot of the garage-punk sound. But I am not really fond of this song, because all I can hear is: “Nanananana“, while I’m holding my hands by my ears. I think there’s something about the vocalist that turns me off, but I guess that’s just me. Otherwise, the sound-scape sounds pretty O.K. but it’s nothing I would call worthwhile. Now we’re at the last band of this side, called Foul Response and their song “Alcohol“. It’s straight down the line punk, with some hints of the classical American sound. Actually sounds a lot like a Swedish band called Damage, but without the hardcore influences. The singers are basically identical when it comes to it, but this is some of the more straight-forward songs also. Something you’d usually churn out if you’re boozed up on alcohol, don’t you say? Maybe, but this is a good closure of a pretty decent side. I actually liked this Side a little bit more than the first side, which is a good criteria.

Bring it on, because here’s the end of the first review.

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