Tag Archives: Remember When

Pops Tops: Top 11 Releases of 2011 (#1-3)

#3: The Wall and the Window-The Years EP

This folk duo came out of nowhere in December, just when I thought I had my top 11 list finished. Though this 5-song EP was recorded using a 4-track cassette tape recorder, I wouldn’t call it lo-fi in the least. But I wouldn’t call it polished either. Honest is the word I think fits best. On The Years, the Wall and the Window combine beautifully warm harmonies and genuine songwriting to create an EP that holds up to the best songs from many of folk’s giants like Simon and Garfunkel or Peter, Paul, and Mary.

#2: Minor Characters-Minor Characters EP

Not many bands can sound like Radiohead and the Beach Boys both in the same song (“Burden”). Minor Characters’ debut EP is equal parts experimental and equal parts pop music, a formula that has allowed them to craft 5 extremely intricate and well thought out songs, none sweeter than the Wilco-driven “Come Break My Heart.” (If I was doing a list for best 11 songs, this would be #1)

#1: The Orwells-Remember When LP

This LP is all over the place. There’s garage, glam, girl groups, punk, and blues-all seen through the lens of five pissed off teens. This band keeps busier than most, seemingly recording and releasing a song every few weeks or so. And it shows because on Remember When, the Orwells have gone from good (last year’s Oh! Well) to great.

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The Orwells: “All the Cool Kids” (New LP, Remember When, Out 10/28)

The Orwells begin their 3rd LP, Remember When with angelic choir harmonies. If you’ve heard anything from these Elmhurst garage punks prior to reading that statement, you know why that’s funny. It doesn’t take long for them to cut through the irony and go into a quick recording of the shower scene from Psycho.

When “All the Cool Kids” actually begins, they deliver a fuzzy Stooges-style, good old-fashioned peer pressure sing along.  Singer, Mario Cuomo, yells, “Just hit it. All the cool kids did it.” And just like that, peer pressure never sounded so good. The Orwells never sounded so good either. I made a comment when I first heard their last LP, Oh! Well that, although I loved the album for what it was, I felt that “Righteous One” was the only tune the band took the time to make it as good as it really could be. “All the Cool Kids, ” the whole new LP for that matter has that same nurtured sound to it while still keeping it just as sloppy as they want it to be.

Remember When is available as of 10/28 for FREE download on the band’s bandcamp page.

 

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