Album Review – Celebrate The Moments of Your Life by The Orange Peels (2021) (Minty Fresh)
As the world slouched through various levels of lockdown, lo-fi musicians everywhere released various levels of musical maudlin, opining being isolated in the bedroom studio’s that they would never have left anyway, whilst occasionally breaking the routine to record the latest acoustic version of whatever Oasis track they felt Facebook needed that week. It was an intensely (and excrutiatingly) wistful response, to largely faux middle class problems.
The Orange Peels have turned the above template totally upside down with this Celebrate the Moments of Your Life double LP. Rather than being consumed by the woes of monor lockdown tribulations, they have responded to genuine tragedies (the loss of Allen Clapp’s parents, the death of Jill Pries brother in a car accident and the destruction of their studio / homelands in wildfires) to release something that is consumed with a surprising level of cathartic dynamism.
I had to surpress the urge to go for ‘cathartic joy’ in the previous sentence. For much of the album feels like a triumph of attitude over adversity, rather than really conveying any settling of emotions concerning such experiences.
As such 2×2, Give My Regards to Rufus and Human, tumble over different pop constructs, from veiled jangled guitars, through electronics and proggy cod melodies in an aesthetic that just feels so perfectly ramshackle for the times we live in. It is not The Orange Peels that many of us turned to for our more traditional jangle pop fixes in the 2000s and beyond, but then how could such a sense of lucid in relation to where this band are at in their lives.
That’s is not to say that there is not obvious beauty, especially when 70s pop-rock acts as the core upon which tracks like Whenever (undoubtedly the finest moment of this release) and Two Shores course, swirling Cocteau Twins style dream-pop through it’s keys laden melodic fabric. Similarly, the pop rock foundation is infused with more traditional 70s melodies of Thank You and the Warren Zevon inferenced Mindego Hill tin two tracks that shows this act can still be the masters of ‘subtle’.
The Orange Peels have long since moved on from being all that is total jangle-pop, however the more recent sound still reveals them to be the finest purveyors of all that has ensured ‘pop’ has never really be consumed by rock over the years.
Available here, on a very reasonably priced, double LP vinyl format, that will have the hipsters salivating (out of Chicago’s, Minty Fresh label), grab one quickly before the 100 limited editions end up in the hands of others !