Monday, August 22, 2011

Album Review: The Orange Revival - Black Smoke Rising

If there was any doubt, my little dukes and duchesses, that Scandinavians know how to do psych rock, it ought to have been put to rest by now by the excellence that is Dungen. And now, lo and behold, here comes another band from Sweden, bringing with them an even more accessible, even more shimmying little rock'n'roll psych rock thang. The band in question is The Orange Revival, and they claim to make "psychedelic R'n'R," and they're not bluffing. Black Smoke Rising, their new LP, is nothing short of tantalizing, not to mention charming, and shows The Orange Revival to be quite a band of upstarts in the wonderful world of psych.

The Orange Revival has plenty of kindred spirits floating around in the world of nouveau psych, most notably the incomparable Anton Newcombe and his Brian Jonestown Massacre cohorts. Black Smoke Rising is steeped in the BJM's brand of brash, but beautiful, guitar-heavy melodic psychedelia. Each of the record's eight songs has plenty to recommend it, and the entire album dallies successfully with roaring yet melodic guitars and the prowl of a well-played organ. "Ever" shows the band's Stones-ian swagger and booming bravado, all guitar strut and adorably-accented lyrics delivered boldly and in a flatly matter-of-fact manner. "Medistation," another favorite, is a towering powder puff of sticky sonic smoke, giving off daydream thrums and all the drone you could want.

Black Smoke Rising
is filled to the last note with quite a few of my favorite things, from all the delicious droning to the tangy kick of impish guitars to an overall kaleidoscopic swirl of luscious, lovely noise. Relying on their patron Saint Anton, Black Smoke Rising is the sound of a band that knows what it wants and knows how to get it.

mp3: Medistation (The Orange Revival from Black Smoke Rising)

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