Oranjuly | Oranjuly

Self-released (2010)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  July 1, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


Three years is a long time to make an album. A band could either neuter every nuance that might have existed on the tape or patiently polish their songs like little gemstones. Oranjuly have pillaged the recording studio and created some gems here with their full-length debut. Although this Boston group aren't the first in recent years to take a bunch of classic-pop influences and mold them into a good-time summer album (the Thrills, the Shins), originality isn't really the point here. Oranjuly remind us just how right retro-fitted pop music can feel (see the Freeways, above) when it's approached meticulously in the studio.

So, yes, "I Could Break Your Heart" has a driving verse that recalls the Cars, the Foo Fighters, and, yes, yes, Weezer. (It must be said that mighty fine singer Brian E. King does a grand Rivers Cuomo.) But with its cheeky Merseybeat and minor-key harmony on the chorus, it sounds like a song from the That Thing You Do! soundtrack enough like the Beatles, but canny enough to pass on its own. And not all the songs here are so derivative. "Hiroshige's Japan" has an ad hoc classical approach with a lilting melody that reminds us of those cool oddball songs that seem to appear only on debut albums.

ORANJULY + THE EVERYDAY VISUALS + THE LUXURY + SPIRIT KID | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | July 2 | 18+ | $12 | 617.864.EAST or mideastclub.com

Related: Review: Melt-Banana at Middle East Downstairs, High On Fire | Snakes For The Divine, Xiu Xiu | Dear God, I Hate Myself, More more >
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