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Fresh pop rock from the Bay

Oranger - New Comes and Goes
(Eenie Meenie Records)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Aug. 16, 2005

Review by Tony Bonyata

On Oranger's fourth full-length album, New Comes and Goes, the San Francisco-based quintet spits out effortless pop rock filled with catchy melodies, irresistible hooks, energetic guitar leads and meaty riffs that never overpowers the body of the punchy arrangements.
Recorded in whirlwind two-week session, the immediacy is inherent throughout these thirteen tracks that range from snappy punk-pop ("Target You By Feel," "Outtatoch" and "Sukiyaki," the latter complete with a rickety Velvet Underground rhythm) to haunting balladry ("Flying Pretend") and, more often than not, spirited alt-rock ("Crooked in the Weird of the Catacombs," "RadioWave" and "Haeter").
Far from a household name, Oranger have been working hard to change that with high-profile support slots with artists such as the late, great Elliot Smith, Guided By Voices, Apples In Stereo and even REM. Off the road, they've also composed and performed an original score for Dziga Vertov's 1929 film The Man With the Movie Camera for the Los Angeles Film Festival, as well as contributing a cover of "Make It With You" to the Bread compilation Friends and Lovers, along with joining the ranks of Beck, Stereolab and Eels by adding a track to the Bruce Haack/Dimension 5 compilation CD Dimension Mix  to benefit autism charities.
The band's vocalist/guitarist Mike Drake explains that they're "either five years behind or fifteen years ahead, depending on how you look at it," thus shedding some light on the album's title. And while the next new thing will always come and go, Oranger delivers a fresh album of spirited indie-pop rock without preservatives, additives or, best of all, an expiration date.

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