Unwelcome Guests / Orphan Choir - Split [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Unwelcome Guests / Orphan Choir

Split [7 inch] (2008)


Unwelcome Guests provide two contrasting expressions on Side A, which you can tell from the song titles: "I Wanna Be Inspired" and "I Wanna Get Drunk Tonight," both of which elaborately describe the wishes of each respective track. Musically, they're not an easy band to pin down; with the former song, I get a bit of a mid-era Weakerthans vibe with a touch of Americana and a pinch of Plan-It-X playfulness. But the next song is a little more bash 'n play and reminds me of the Replacements; looking elsewhere, that's definitely a comparison the band has fallen in with. Pretty good stuff overall.

Orphan Choir provide one longer epic song in "Burning Ash Again." They're a little more languid, but in a good way. This is a well-constructed, multi-part song that cuts through with a harmonica bridge helping to build up for its emotional, wistful end; the lines of "Whether you're lying on your back / or standing ten feet tall, / it follows you 'til you face it. / Night comes for us all" don''t quite explode like they ought to, but it's damn close. I'd place them somewhere between the shattered-vocal, punk reservations of Leatherface/Jawbreaker and the Americana-tinged Attack in Black. Another description has them as "Bruce Springstreen fronting the Constantines." I guess either of those give you a pretty good idea of the goings-on.

Unwelcome Guests - I Wanna Get Drunk Tonight
Orphan Choir - Burning Ash Again