The Orwells-Disgraceland

The Orwells-Disgraceland

The Orwells are a five-man American rock band out of Elmhurst, Illinois. Gaining fame by being named one of the most criminally overlooked bands in 2012 by MTV, the band has always been close to breaking through into the mainstream. Disgraceland is their first taste of getting some popularity and despite not being old enough to legally drink, most of their tracks are about the sleazy practices of alcohol and finding one night stands at every party possible. This down to earth approach has garnered the band a young audience who eat all the themes up, and The Orwells fit in the strange grouping of punk bands that will wear off over time, especially as their fan base matures. With that being said, I think I have already aged beyond this type of music.

Despite having some promising potential, Disgraceland is not interesting enough to hold the listeners attention despite the short running time. The band creates a rock/punk sound that pretty much any band with aspiring dreams can pull off. The vocals lack any sense of imagination, resorting to flat silent shouts and monotone screams that lack the enthusiasm required to become interesting. The guitar work is easily the highlight of the record, bringing some solid leads that mesh well with the drum kicks. Despite the decent walls of sound, the writing and vocals run the record into the ground. None of the songs really have any stories that are worth reading into, turning into derivative and messy rock anthems. The track listing is too heavy on the sleaze and too light on the intrigue.

There are a few good tracks on Disgraceland to note since The Orwells are good at reaching into the nostalgia factor of the listener’s youth. The finishing track, “North Ave.” is easily the best song on the record. The guitar riff and drum kicks set off a fun and soft tone, while the vocals and lyrics sell a tangible love story. “Let It Burn” is a fun road anthem with a similar feel. The faster paced guitars and drums mesh well with some out-of-control vocals that take over the song. The whole record kicks off to decent effect with “Southern Comfort” as well. Despite the gross lyrics and cheesy plot, the tone set by the track would be perfect in a party setting which is where The Orwells really hit their stride.

The writing and musical problems come into play when The Orwells try to attack more serious subjects. “Who Needs You” tries to become an anthem for anyone wronged by their former lover, but the lyrics become too nonsensical for their own good. “Blood Bubbles” is the darkest track on Disgraceland by a mile, but the musical tones do not match such a set of lyrics, which is not helped by putrid mixing of vocals and a bland solo to end the track. The worst song by a wide margin is easily “Norman.” The lyrics set off a heavy idea about potential crimes being committed, but the tone is too poppy and lacks a hard edge to match. The vocals are no better, devolving into a bored moan by the time the chorus kicks in.

The Orwells are a perfect example of a band that can please people who are not willing to dig deeply into their music. If you throw a record like Disgraceland on at a party, no one is going to complain. However, that also means that it requires such a small amount of attention to become palatable. If sleazy rock is your thing, check out this newest record from The Orwells. If not, simply move along to something a bit deeper and more entertaining.


Track Listing
1. Southern Comfort
2. The Righteous One
3. Dirty Sheets
4. Bathroom Tile Blues
5. Gotta Get Down
6. Let It Burn
7. Who Needs You
8. Norman
9. Always N Forever
10. Blood Bubbles
11. North Ave.

The Orwells Links:

About krthll1 (82 Articles)
I am a huge media fan in general. Video games, music, and movies tend to be the ticket to my happiness. As far as music goes, I like to listen to music that can convey any sense of tangible emotional impact, whether it be dark, depressive, or happy. Favorite artists include Deafheaven, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, Kendrick Lamar, and Alice In Chains. I would like to thank everyone on the site for this opportunity and hope my output is worthy of the publishing.

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