Mock Orange - First EP (Cover Artwork)

Mock Orange

Mock Orange: First EPFirst EP (2002)
Dead Droid Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Mock Orange seems stuck in a permanent identity crisis. Their first album, "Nines and Sixes," has an almost-Lagwagon feel to it. Their sophomore effort, "The Record Play," [reviewed here] seemed to owe more to bands like Braid and American Football than anything on Fat Wreck. Now, after a label c.

Mock Orange seems stuck in a permanent identity crisis. Their first album, "Nines and Sixes," has an almost-Lagwagon feel to it. Their sophomore effort, "The Record Play," [reviewed here] seemed to owe more to bands like Braid and American Football than anything on Fat Wreck. Now, after a label change, the band brings us their latest EP, aptly entitled "First EP." Why do I believe the title is so accurate? Well, it's because once again the group has seemed to give their sound a complete overhaul, almost to the point where they sound like a completely new band. If I had to name some influences on this record, my mind would immediately run to bands like Modest Mouse, Pavement, and Death Cab For Cutie, as opposed to their harder influences of the past.

Gone are the crazy time changes and frantic guitar riffing. In their places are more straightforward pop songs coupled with slide guitar. Main singer Ryan's vocals have taken a drastic turn, as well. I still can't decide if it's for better or worse. On past recordings he seemed to be spitting out his vocals with intensity and vigor, whereas now his voice seems to take a more relaxed approach, playfully integrating his falsetto with the spacious guitar parts.

Like I said before, this EP makes the band sound like a completely different entity - keeping up with their string of identity reassignments. Standing on it's own two feet, this EP can hold it's own and is actually pretty original-sounding in today's music scene. If this is the new direction of Mock Orange, I can't wait to hear their upcoming full length.

Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if the next album sounds like a polka band.

Crash And Die


People who liked this also liked:
Saosin - Translating The NameMock Orange - Mind Is Not BrainMock Orange - The Record PlayBlink-182 - Blink 182The Blood Brothers - CrimesBraid - Frame & CanvasMaps and Atlases - Tree, Swallows, HousesThe (International) Noise Conspiracy - Live at Oslo Jazz Festival [reissue]Big D and the Kids Table - Strictly RudeA Wilhelm Scream - Ruiner

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
patberg12 (December 28, 2009)

this is a huge change in sound from the first two releases but driving day is one of my favorite songs ever and i owe it to this ep. bravo for the style change it makes for an interesting bands and one that can't ever be called unoriginal.

Anonymous (September 21, 2004)

What a horrible drastic style change. This is GARBAGE. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Like all those tired old punk bands you listen to?

Icapped2pac (October 8, 2003)

What a horrible drastic style change. This is GARBAGE. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Anonymous (May 26, 2003)

Ive only been able to hear "Crash and Die" so far, but that friggin' riff is a hook within' itself. Im glad to hear that they're keeping it fresh. It shows growth. The most amazing part about it is that they can still put themselves in a totally unique catagory. I say cheers to the continuation of contagious riffs and new sounds.

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)

the quality harmonizing is still there. the melodies on the ep are crazy involved. the guitar is still there. its better lyrically too

Anonymous (February 13, 2003)

I guess it's just me, but this ep didn't do anything for me. Which kind of sucks, because the two previous full - lengths are two of my favorites. I thought the technical, jaw - dropping guitar interplay was the best part about Mock Orange. And subsituting quality melodic harmonizing for a Beck - like falsetto voice doesn't seem like an improvement.

Basically, I have no problem with Mock Orange going in a new direction, and writing stuff they feel is challenging. I just don't happen to like the new direction. Its too mellow for me. It just seems to me that these days it is almost expected for quality indie rock bands to do something that is drastically more mellow and experimental (see The Get Up Kids and Promise Ring latest stuff)

There are other bands that can do what Mock Orange are doing now, but I don't see many current acts that can hold a candle to Nine and Sixes, and The Record Play.

Anonymous (February 12, 2003)

Mock Orange is anything but sloppy.

-Scotty (work)

Anonymous (February 12, 2003)

the ep is so fresh.

sloppyblake (February 12, 2003)

'Modest Mouse would rip Mock Orange a new starfish. '


Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

I love how people confuse "crazy time changes" with sloppy musicianship. This band sucks.

Anonymous (February 10, 2003)

south park, anyone? southpark? "biggest douche of the universe"

Anonymous (February 10, 2003)

Modest Mouse would rip Mock Orange a new starfish.

-the phantom-

sloppyblake (February 10, 2003)

anyone who owns this is bound to fail in life

Anonymous (February 9, 2003)

what if I am a 70 year old Italian man. You shouldnt piss me off, I may know people in the old country. Dangerous people

Anonymous (February 9, 2003)

definitely a douche

Anonymous (February 8, 2003)

Douche? What are you a 70 year old Italian man? Who the fuck calls someone a douche? Are women dames, or kooky broads? Do you have to go change your colostomy bag while you eat your almond rochas and watch wheel of fortune? I suggest you stop watching old rat pack movies and pop in any rap cd. Then, maybe if you're lucky, you can go fuck yourself. twat

Anonymous (February 8, 2003)

biggest douche in the universe below.

Anonymous (February 8, 2003)

I didn't even read the review but I want to comment on the transplants:

Who the fuck buys this shit? Seriously this is the worst shit I have EVER heard. Rap punk? What the fuck is that? Yeah, yeah, we get it, they're hard as fuck. They'll beat our ass. Why do we need this? That is what rap is for. And another thing, what is up with Tim Armstrong? Did he just have a stroke? Is that why he sounds as if his left side of his face is paralyzed? Or is he always drunk, cuz that would be cool. Straight up, this is retarded. If I wanted someone telling me how nice their "whips" are or how they and their "crew" can fuck us up, I'd go pick up the new 50 cent cd. So why do we need skinny tattooed white boys rapping? That's my point you can't answer that. Because we don't. Now please people go fuck yourselves. Twat


Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

This ep is incredible. Mock Orange doesn't have an identity crisis, that's not it at all - they are an amazing band that constantly is pushing the envelope and reinventing themselves, moving forward constantly from their previous work and never getting stuck in any sort of rut - a rut that you'll find stagnant bands like Lagwagon in for instance. They've been a band for close to ten years, their songs are constantly growing up and their song writing is always becoming more and more flavorful and exciting. This ep is one of the freshest sounds to grace my stereo in some time, hats off to a band who isn't scared to keep moving forward and be new and their own directors all for the love of honest writing. I think this record is fucking brilliant and cannot wait for the full length!

greg0rb (February 7, 2003)

Aww man, I gotta get this. These guys rule. Nines and Sixes is probably still the best one, but they still rule.


Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

"Gone are the crazy time changes and frantic guitar riffing."

I have yet to hear this, but I'm already disappointed.

Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

or saying something else CRAZY!

REALPUNX4LIFE (February 7, 2003)

The words "sounds like Lagwagon" were never used. He said "almost-Lagwagon feel." There's a huge difference. He used "almost" instead of "total" and "feel" instead of "sound." Pay attention, retard.

Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

'nines and sixes' sounds like lagwagon? thats the most ridiculous comparison i've ever heard. thats like saying hatebreed sounds like the white stripes.

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