Live, the Orphans dominate. Wade, the bass player, is unplugged half the time, busy on conking someone over the head with his stand and swinging his bass like a bat on a rope. Jenny can’t stand still, and is often cleaning the floor with her back as she slithers around, the arc of her prowling defined by the length of her mic cord. Brandon’s an absolute basher. Dann doesn’t move too much, but it’s really a mind trick because he gets so much sound out of what’s he’s playing, like he’s got a secret third hand that no one else can see. Live: awesome. On record: on par awesomeness. What’s sometimes not obvious live (via okay PA and the limitations of DIY) is that how layered their songs really are. Smart, hardcore leads are snuggled up to blunt garage. Tricky little bridges and intros tie them altogether, so there’s both considerable weight to the obvious “fuck-you-ity” and nimble movement to keep it far and away from being generic. Say, for purely hypothetical reasons, The Orphans came out in L.A. in ’77. They’d be neck and neck with The Bags, The Screamers, and The Weirdos. Being that it’s 2005 and L.A.’s fractured all to hell, punk’s getting dirty and neglected again, and not as many people are paying attention, do yourself a favor and pick up one of the finest 7”s this year will likely see and people will be seeking out for years to come.
–todd (Vinyl Dog)