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Culture Vultures

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Album Review

When Orson uprooted from their L.A. home and moved camp to the U.K., they were taking a big gamble with their career. When their debut album Bright Idea and it's accompanying singles made them stars in Europe, it was obvious that their gamble had paid off big time. With great songs and a snappy image, this pop/rock quintet certainly deserved the acclaim and success that they received. Comparisons were made to former L.A. brethren Maroon 5 but, although similarities do exist, Orson came off like M5's older, wiser brothers who chose to mix their soul influences subtly into their musical brew instead of hitting people on the head with it. So, when the boys in Orson prepared their sophomore album for release, they spoke of an edgier sound, which, in the music business, often means that they couldn't come up with the melodic goods and they rocked out instead. Not so with Culture Vultures! In fact, if you took every great aspect of their debut and multiplied it by ten, then that is what this album is: a stunning display of fun, hooky songs played with imagination and energy. From opener "Radio" to the album's closer "Everybody," Culture Vultures is one hell of a great time. Imagine great '70s "radio" pop and soul hits thrown into a blender with a little punk, a few pinches of new wave, and some chugging alt-rock guitar, then pour the whole mixture over a white, spongy angel-food cake and let the party begin! The album's first single "Ain't No Party" was the complete opposite of its title: it was the party single of the year. Cuts like the aforementioned "Radio," "Little Miss Lost and Found," and "Gorgeous" get the blood pumping in your veins like only true love can. The brilliant "Broken Watch" was scheduled as the album's second single but was canceled when sales of the album hadn't performed as well as expected. Now, tell me, how could an album this fantastic (and I do mean fantastic) not sell millions of copies world-wide? And why have the American record labels ignored Orson? If this was a perfect world (and we all know that it isn't), then you'd already know about Orson and Oasis would be begging to open for them. But alas, Oasis still rule the Brit-pop/alt-rock roost and continue to release marginal albums while bands like Orson are virtually ignored...but ain't that always the way? It goes without saying that Culture Vultures is definitely one of the best pop/rock albums of 2007 if not the best. ~ Steve "S**z" Schnee, Rovi


Formed: London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Alternative pop quintet Orson formed in Hollywood in 2000. Co-founders Jason Pebworth (vocals) and George Astasio (guitar) borrowed the name from cinematic icon Orson Welles, and their Tinseltown origins also inspired the band's decision to perform in vintage suits and fedoras. Lead guitarist Chad Rachild, bassist Johnny Lonely, and drummer Chris Cano completed the original lineup, which gigged throughout the Los Angeles area to little notice until the fall of 2005, when Orson self-released their...
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Culture Vultures, Orson
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