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Escape from L.A.

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Album Review

Escape from L.A. is like 1977 punk and 924 Gilman Street colliding head on. Led by the "Is he really British or not?" vocals of Joe Dexter Denman (who's not pulling a Billie Joe, as he actually was born on the other side of the pond), California-bred Orange continue to do their damnedest to uphold the spirit of catchy, ragged pop-punk — no bells and whistles necessary. It's hard not to think of an early Green Day or less scrappy One Man Army, but the band really does do a good job with its few well-placed chords at paying homage to its heroes without sounding completely derivative. This is good, good stuff, and the no-frills production not only gives the record an aged (yet very modern) feel, but also allows the focus to lie fully on the band's punchy guitars and engaging vocals, which are the exact things that will keep you coming back for more. Oh and the hooks. Lots of those too. Spat-out vocal harmonies cross '90s punk with the Clash, and the rebellion-laced triple shot of "Get the F**k Out of My Way," "Tiara," and "What I'm Looking For" drive on the super strong melodies that basically set the entire album's anthemic tone. Orange flip off enough people in the process of claiming their individuality (most explicitly on the minute-long burst of "Republicans"), but they're just as likely to offer up encouragement to everyone as disaffected with things as they are (see "The Only Ones" and "Flying Without Fear"). Equal parts Berkeley and Britain, fists in the air and pats on the back, Orange are undoubtedly on to something good here. More please.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

This Yugoslavian hard rock quintet was formed in 1981 by Zlato Magdalenic (vocals), Mijo Popovic (guitar), Tomaz Zontar (keyboards), Marko Herak (bass) and Franc Teropic (drums). Together they secured a contract with the local RTB label. Musically, they incorporated elements of AC/DC, Deep Purple and Accept, but added little creative input of their own. The band was known as Pomaranca in Yugoslavia and attracted a small but loyal cult following after the release of their debut album in 1982. This...
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Escape from L.A., Orange
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