Friday, May 13, 2005

Smashing Orange reissue

Possibly the most unfortunately named band since Fuschia Sabbath, Smashing Orange were probably doomed to semi-obscurity from the moment they picked their monicker. Too bad, as their first EP-and-singles are somewhat legendary among shoegaze aficionados. Back in the day, they were hailed as the one US bandwagon hopper worth checking out.

Ebay watchers may have noticed that the early, out-of-print stuff has been popping up recently , and as usual the cynics among you would be right. There's an extremely belated CD reissue of "the good stuff" out, on Elephant Stone Records and titled 1991. Among others, the nice folks at Parasol are selling it. From the reissue, here's Sugar.

Fans of this stuff always seem to be horrified by Smashing Orange's subsequent transformation into a shoegazey biker rock band (or something like that). I'm not going to go all revisionist, but I've always had a soft spot for Something Comes Down from their 1992 CD The Glass Bead Game. Maybe you're pickier than me, but I say that a song that 1) kicks off with the singer going "Let's get it on!" and 2) includes the lyric, "Skintight leather across your ass!" and 3) has the singer imploring "Rock me one more time!" before the second wah-wah guitar solo, cannot possibly be all bad. Take it as fake cock rock or something, but it's totally catchy at the proper volume.

The rest of the album is decent enough. If you see a used copy for a buck or so, it's well worth a listen, though it's probably not going to change your life and you really don't want to spend more than a dollar or two at most. Seriously. Other tracks feature more vestiges of shoegazing past, but of course the song that I like second best is yet another over-the-top hard rocker, Look Behind You, which blasts off of the trailing notes of a much mellower song called Indians Say. Love Medication, Love Penetration! Whooo!

(Wow, you know it's something like ten years since I've listened to this album, and I gotta say I'm enjoying it more than I expected to when I filed it in the "I never listen to this, but something tells me to hold onto it" binder.)

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