The Orwells | Disgraceland (Atlantic/Canvasback)

Orwells 75The best way I can describe their sound is as if Agent Orange hung out with The Doors, dropped acid, and then went surfing.


Well hello The Orwells; it sure is nice to meet you.

While driving back to St. Louis from Knoxville, Tenn., I was shuffling through the weekly new releases. After becoming frustrated and dismissing the majority of them, I happened upon The Orwell’s latest release, Disgraceland. Sometimes musical fate is a magical thing.

The best way I can describe their sound is as if Agent Orange hung out with The Doors, dropped acid, and then went surfing. This is crunchy rock and roll with hooky chords and ear-catching lyrics. Each of these combine to create a throwback rock sound which I personally have been missing for some time.

Hailing from Elmhurst, Ill., Mario Cuomo takes care of the vocals while his cousin Dominic Corso plays guitar. Twin brothers Grant and Henry Brinner make up the rhythm section with Grant on bass and Henry playing drums while Matt O’Keefe rounds out the group also playing guitar.

The boys are starting to get some exposure. They opened a handful of dates for the Arctic Monkeys this year and made an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. This is a band on the rise and one to watch.

With an abundance of potential and talent, I am excited to see where this band goes. I enjoyed this album so much I am going to check out their first release, Remember When as well as their duo of EPs.

Best Tracks

“Southern Comfort” – The sound of this track is so 80s — and I mean that in a good way. This song has a phenomenal rock and roll attitude.

“The Righteous One” – Hippy trippy vocals are what sold me on this track. Cuomo’s vocals reminded me so much of Jim Morrison. This track got put on repeat several times.

“Dirty Sheets” – Another vocal track that reminded me of Morrison. Lots of attitude and surf rock guitar to go around.

“Let It Burn” My favorite track of the entire album. An amazing chorus mixed with sensational jangly guitars made this track stand out. If there is a radio hit on this album, this is the one.

“Who Needs You” I am in love with the lyrics of this track. Cuomo’s angst is evident and appreciated as he barks out the words. The strong rock rhythms match the vocals beat for beat making this track kick some ass.

While I listed these tracks as the best, the rest of the songs on the album are very well done. These are just the tracks that I went back to multiple times on my long drive.

Would I recommend this to my friends? Absolutely. The Orwells are one of those bands that makes me happy to be a reviewer and a fan of rock and roll. | Jim Ryan

You can follow me on Twitter – @ReviewerJim



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