Sunday, December 5, 2010

Music Review: the Orange Effect

I don't normally do music reviews, mainly because, while I love music, I'm no musician and I don't feel like I have the vocabulary to talk about it. That said, I recently saw the band the Orange Effect in concert for the second time, and they are so incredibly good, that I feel compelled to give them a review.

the Orange Effect is a local band in Orange County, and I'm not entirely sure how to describe their genre. They call themselves "Indie-Americana-Folk-Pop-Post-Rock-Alt-Country-Neo-Soul" which seems good enough to me.

The band has a very energetic, lively and varied sound. Harmonies are a big part of their music and the bass and drums are very prominent in their songs, giving them something of a martial sound.

The real thing that makes the Orange Effect stand out, though, is the sheer talent of its members. Every single one of them is a brilliant musician, and all of them but the drummer (who is one of the best I've seen) play multiple instruments and sing. A result of this is that the Orange Effect really feels like a band, rather than one guy with backup.

They also have a fantastic stage presence that makes their concerts a blast. It took me awhile to get out to one as a friend of mine, Tim Bauer, is in the band, and going out to a friend's concert can be a bit nerve wracking. If it's not a great band...  awkward. Well, if you live in Orange County, don't make the mistake I made, get out to one of their concerts. I'm certainly going to be making it out to every one I can.

They've also released a CD, which I recommend you pick up. A word of caution there, though. While their music is absolutely amazing, the mixing of the CD isn't perfect, and that has some unfortunate results. As I said, the drums, bass and harmonies are a big part of what makes their music, and the guy who mixed the CD doesn't seem to have gotten that as the harmonies have been turned into backup vocals and the drums and bass likewise pushed into the background.1 This by no means makes it a bad CD, it's just not a very representative one. Had I not seen them in concert, I wouldn't have noticed the problem, I just would have thought the band more generic than it really is.

All my criticisms aside, I've listened to the CD close to a dozen times since I got it on Friday, and you should definitely pick it up. More importantly though, if you live in or around Orange County, do yourself a favor and go to one of their concerts - you won't regret it and you'll be supporting some genuinely brilliant local music.

P.S. The sideshows for their CD release concert, Dawson and Marrie and Alex Rhodes were also pretty sweet.
1. I've found turning the bass and treble up on my sound system helps with the drums and base, though not the vocals.