Orange Island - Orange Island (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Orange Island

Orange Island (2003)

Triple Crown

Last year, I reviewed Orange Island's debut full-length, Everything You Thought You Knew. I liked the disc and still do, but I acknowledged that the band had a ton of work to do before they would become household names. The production on that disc was muddy, the songs were rambling, and the overall feel of the band was one of pensive aggression, not committment. Did the band solve all of their problems with this, their new CD? Nope, but they're getting closer.

First off, the album sounds a lot cleaner than their past effort. You can actually hear the guitar interplay, the intricate basslines, and the skull-thumping drums without any running into each other. Even the vocals are cleaner and better placed in the mix.

And speaking of the vocals, that's another area where Orange Island has improved in leaps and bounds. A lot of the material on Everything You Thought You Knew was solid musically, but vocalist David Gorman seemed to stuggle with a lot of the melodies constructed, making a lot of the previous album just awkward to listen to. On this effort, Gorman, while not perfect, has definitely gotten better and more confident in his ability, and his voice makes tracks like "Holy Bibles and Stained Glass Hotel Windows" come to life.

If I had to place the band into a musical category [which I know I do], I'd lump them with the current crop of east coast aggressive emo-punk bands, along the lines of Fairweather [or for a lesser known reference, Brand New Disaster]. The heavier parts of songs, especially riffage-wise and breakdown-wise, remind me a bit of Thrice [although there's not one bit of screaming to be found on this disc, thank god - as if that genre isn't played out enough as it is!]. There's enough going on here to make the album worth a listen, however I still think the band's best days are ahead of them. If they keep this up, expect a 5-star review from me in a few albums' time.

Oh! How Clintonian Of Me

Stream 3 songs here