By: Emily Zemler
If you were to ask San Francisco band Oranger what year it is, chances are they would estimate the date at around, oh, 1975. Listening to the shiny, psychedelic rock on their latest album, New Comes and Goes, it's easy to assume Oranger has more of a kinship to bands of the early '70s than they do to the bands of today. But, unlike most of their contemporaries, it doesn't feel a revival thing for Oranger: Their guitar-driven power pop evokes bands like the Who and Cheap Trick without ever actually ripping them off, and that's a tall task.
Formed in 1997 as a trio, featuring Mike Drake, Bob Reed, and Matt Harris, Oranger began to garner attention after playing the San Francisco Noise Pop Festival the following year. Eventually adding Pat Main and John Hofer to the lineup, the group is now on their third proper album -- their most streamlined yet -- on a new record label, Eenie Meenie Records.
New Comes and Goes, which features the most awesome hot pink and black album art, resounds with sparkling guitars and sleek vocals. Upbeat tracks like "Sukiyaki" and "Outtatoch" are instantly familiar, practically forcing an impromptu sing-along. With streamlined production, New Comes and Goes strips Oranger's music down to exactly what it needs to sound good; no extraneous sounds or effects overshadow the quality of the actual music, proving that you don't need synth or a slew of weird instruments to make likeable music.
It may be 2005, not 1975, but Oranger offers the argument that music from the past can be relevant without being a rip-off. And after hearing the album, that's a pretty hard argument to refute.
Oranger Tour Dates
9/24, Athens, GA (Tasty World)9/25, Chapel Hill, NC (Local 506 (506 W. Franklin St.)9/26, Washington, DC (Black Cat)9/27, Philadelphia, PA (Khyber)9/28, Hoboken, NJ (Maxwell's)9/29, New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom)9/30, Northampton, MA (Iron Horse)10/01, Cambridge, MA (Middle East)10/04, Detroit, MI (Magic Stick)10/05, Columbus, MI (Little Brother's)10/06, Cleveland, OH (Grog Shop)10/07, Chicago, IL (Double Door)10/08, Minneapolis, MN (400 Bar)10/09, Milwaukee, WI (Shank Hall)10/10, Madison, WI (High Noon Saloon)10/11, Iowa City, IA (Gabe's Oasis)10/12, Kansas City, MO (Hurricane)10/13, Denver, CO (Larimer Lounge)10/14, Salt Lake City, UT (Velvet Room)10/15, Boise, ID (Bourbon St.)10/18, Eugene, OR (John Henry's)10/19, Portland, OR (Doug Fir)10/20, Seattle, WA (Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room)10/22, San Francisco, CA (The Independent)