Orca Team – Restraint

Artist: Orca Team

Title: Restraint

Released: June 2012

Label: Happy Happy Birthday to Me

Format:  CD, LP

Genre: indie pop, ice pop

If you recall a few months ago, Orca Team was featured on the cassette compilation “Days Without End,” which was featured up here.  I was captivated by their sound and was pleased to get a kit from HHBTM, announcing the band’s upcoming full length.  Huzzah!

The first thing you hear is a rock, classic garage rock, pop/classic 60s pop hybrid.  This opening song is so mellow, taking modern indie into new directions by harkening back to its roots.  Retrofuturism anyone?  We’re off to a good start!

As we continue, the guitar and even the bass hint perhaps of late 50s to early 60s rock, but every other element is quite modern.  The lyrics run between somewhat upbeat to very icy and melancholy.  I mean, the song can sound so sweet and dreamy but you realize it’s about a broken relationship and it dawns on you that you can actually relate to this.  It’s brilliant really; I love it when a band/artist can do this.

The sound is fairly solid track to track.  The guitar effects and even the light effects on the vocals remain constant.  Some might see this as a flaw but honestly, I don’t think it hurts the album all that much.  In a way, it kind of adds to this theme of a dream slowly coming over you after a bad day.  I don’t know, maybe that’s just me.  Either way, this dreamy pop rock stuff does have an icy edge to it.  Sometimes it’s subtle, but it’s there.

“Michael” has to be one of the catchiest tracks on the album.  Follow this one up with “I’ve Been Crying All Day” and “If…” and you have your gateway songs that’ll lead you into the heart of the album.  Over all, this is pretty good.  The blending of catchy 50/60s garage rock/pop with modern indie/pop makes this hard to resist.  Orca Team sound just as strong here as they have in the past and I can safely say that this is going to sound amazing on vinyl.

If you’re a fan of the aforementioned genres or Orca Team’s previous releases (particularly on the Days Without End cassette compilation), you should grab this. You won’t be sorry.  If you’re curious about indie pop and the overall modern-retro crossovers, this is a good place to start.  This album was a good pick-me-up when I was feeling down and it’s relatable when it wants to be.  Check it out!

4.6 out of 5.

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About Nick H.

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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