The Orwells occupy the ground somewhere between landfill indie and genius. Landfill indie, for those lucky enough to have forgotten, was a guitar-based rock of the lowest common denominator, designed to appeal to young lads on lager and with lyrics to match.
The Orwells’ sound is that, and every song sounds a bit like something you heard before, and yet: after a couple of plays you start to think they’re just clever people playing dumb, and they have a great ear for a melody.
Opener They Put A Body In The Bayou (The Orwells sound like they’re from Wigan, actually it’s Chicago) sums it all up: a good howling swampy punk/rock tune, with lyrics like: “Told me act your age/That’s why she’s underage”. Ugh.
But then there’s Black Francis, clearly a tribute to Pixies (never as big in the States as over here) and stealing the “Viva la loma rica” line from Number 13 Baby but including the lyric: “Have you heard that band/Yeah I think they’re sh*t”, which suggests a sense of mischief at least.
Elsewhere, Fry is a psychedelic rock tune with an echoey chorus from a compilation of forgotten sixties classics; Heavy Head sounds a bit Weezer (the singer is Mario Cuomo, no relation to Rivers but Weezer are fans); and M.A.D., which sounds a bit Beatles.
Most of the lyrics are not as bad as the one quoted and are mostly sensible but they’re certainly out to shock. They don’t half have some good tunes, though.