If it seems like there is already a big hype surrounding The Orwells, just wait until their upcoming second album “Disgraceland” is actually released (30/5 Germany, 2/6 UK, 3/6 US). The five recent high-school graduates from a Chicago suburb will soundtrack your summer, from BBQs in the park to jumping around in the dust at a festival site daydrunk on good music and cheap canned beer. David Letterman is already a fan – and their recent performance at his Late Show is probably the best proof why they’re reputed to be a brilliant live act. Their blend of punk-infused rock comes with a slight acoustic instagram filter for that retro-feel, spiced with sing-along choruses and lines that will make you remember your teenage years like it was yesterday, and how intense everything felt back then.
“Staying up looking at the stars
Making out on the hood of my car
I know that this can’t last forever
At least we spend every night together”
(Always N Forever)
There may be a fashionable lo-fi effect to their sound which is most apparent in the vocals, but other than most of their druggy-eyed, pastel-haired indie peers these days, The Orwells have a pop-punk energy that will open moshpits wherever they turn. Tracks like opener “Southern Comfort” or “Let It Burn” makes them sound like the slightly less angry cousins of Fidlar while “Norman” is the embodiment of hungover lethargy. “Dirty Sheets” and drum-driven hit “Who Needs You” are instant favourites, but the album’s brightest moment is without any doubt “Bathroom Tile Blues”, a timeless rock’n’roll anthem that could just as well have been our parents’ soundtrack to their first heartache. In fact the song’s catchiness and heartfelt youthful melancholia make it such an unquestionable hit-candidate that they might just not release it as a single because of the serious threat of becoming a one-hit wonder. Eventually “Blood Bubbles” shows the band’s darker side before they set the finishing touch with “North Ave.”, another pop-infused anthem brimming with high-school nostalgia.
At the same “cool” enough for the kids and showing too much genuine talent to be discarded by more mature music connoisseurs, it certainly looks like there will be no way around The Orwells this year. With “Disgraceland”, they have definitely delivered an album that is timeless enough to gladly return to over and over again.