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Music Reviews: Wild Sweet Orange September 26, 2008

Posted by Ben Rivet in : Chit Chat, Digital home recording studios, Mixing, Music Reviews, Reviews , trackback

Your man about town here with a look at some music that has caught my fancy.

The Band: Wild Sweet Orange

The Album: We Have Cause to Be Uneasy

wild sweet orange

When I first heard Wild Sweet Orange’s LP, We Have Cause To Be Uneasy, my only regret was that I didn’t hear them sooner. I wanted to be the one that told everyone about this amazing band. I wanted to hear everyone comment on how awesome the band’s name was, and then call me 4 days later, after they had listened to the album, and thank me for the suggestion. But alas, I was not the first person to hear them, I was 7,999th. (according to their myspace page).

We Have Cause to Be Uneasy is the Band’s debut album, but you would never guess this from the maturity of their sound. While the core of the instrumentation represents the standard of any rock band, they don’t seem to be afraid of incorporating different sounds into their songs. Accordian, Triangle, synths and banjo all find their way onto the record with a prepared confidence. Unusual guitar delays and effects modules enhance the haunting vibe on a number of tracks, proving that they are not your average rockers. WSO blends the raw aggression of Southern rock with an indie/folk  sparkle that gives listeners something to remember. I found myself humming their hooks days later, wondering what the line was from.

The first line of “Ten Dead Dogs” immediately pulls you into the album, entranced with Preston Lovinggood’s voice. The lightness of his tone and angst in the lines makes you listen to each lyric, thankful that his voice is not any whinier (at risk of being emo). The song writing is refreshingly intelligent. The rhymes are varied and you actually feel proud when you can foresee what the next word is going to be, which is rarely the case. While most of the tracks are longer than the average pop tune, I never was tempted to skip to the next song. The band finds a way to rotate the musical textures enough to keep the listener interested, and the lyrics are well written enough to complete the story before things become repetitive.

I was most impressed with “Aretha’s Gold”, which appears later in the album. This grungy love track has all the elements of a classic rock song…and I mean all the elements. There are enough breakdowns to choke a horse and I could hear glimmers of grunge, 60’s, 90’s Pop and Indie rock in each verse… beautifully done, however. When the song drops down to an acoustic guitar and vocals, you remember how sick (good sick) Lovinggood’s voice is. The breakdown lasts about 8 bars longer than you would expect, but when the band returns you are ready to start rocking again, even though you are already 5:22 in to the song.

note – The only bands that I know of that can pull that off are legendary.

The production quality of the LP (this is a studio website), is about as adventurous as the writing.  Each track has a slightly different feel too, while avoiding a mix tape quality. Producer Mike McCarthy tried some interesting things with reverb throughout the album.  While I found the lead vocals to be a little too “platey” by normal mixing standards they definitely enhance the etherial sound of the tracks. Most of the mixes were nice and washy, but an occasional lead guitar part would cut through with little or no delay. Harmony parts were wonderfully mixed and provided enough of a musical idea to entice the avid car stereo harmonizer to chime in.

Wild Sweet Orange has started to tip the scales of the their own fate, gaining more national momentum with every show.  Touring the states such bands like What Made Milwaukee Famous (another new favorite of mine), I will not be surprised if we start seeing WSO all over the place. Make sure you check them out…and tell your friends… you don’t want someone else to ask you, “Have you ever heard of Wild Sweet Orange?”

What do your musical ears tell you?  I f you get a chance to listen to their stuff, drop me a line with your thoughts on Wild Sweet Orange.

Wild Sweet Orange  on myspace





1. Al - September 28, 2008

Aretha’s Gold is a classic American rock song–the best I’ve heard in years–reminiscent of the founding fathers of grunge while establishing an authenticity all their own. Thanks for the tip.

2. Miranda - November 1, 2008

I was lucky enough to first hear Wild Sweet Orange at a live show. I have to admit it was one of the best live performance’s I’ve seen in a long time. I instantly became in love with there music. Lovinggood’s lyrics are so raw you can feel the emotion when he sings them. They are some of the best lyrics I’ve read in awhile. Lovinggoos’s voice paired with the band is pure genious. They have come up with an amazing sound that’s all there own.

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