Orange Animal – The Beach
Genre: Classic Rock, 90s Rock, Alternative Rock
Neil Young’s The Ditch trilogy was one of the first examples of a North-American recording artist seemingly turning his back on the sounds and aesthetics that had made him a rich, famous, young man. But, as Young has often been quoted as saying, that detour made him garner a whole new appreciation for the world.
Now, this is slightly misleading information. Unlike David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy or Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, Young did not start to create almost unlistenable synth-driven songs guaranteed to alienate his main audience. He brought his guitar with him. And, especially on the album On the beach, he wrote some of his best guitar-driven songs. The main contingent of Neil Young listeners loves these records.
Orange Animal does brilliantly pick up on the wistful sound of that record for their single The Beach. The electric guitar isn’t used as often nowadays to project pessimism, and it’s a shame. When it really swings and cries there’s nothing quite as expressive as the guitar. It’s a testament to Orange Animal’s mastery of the classic rock song that this tune sounds alluring, mysterious, and begging to be discovered further.
Ben Burr – P.O.V.
Genre: Soft Rock, Art Rock, Pop Rock
The internet, lots of time one’s hands and an extensive record collection, or a working Spotify account, have the potential to create the kind of nerd-rockers that even Steely Dan fans might have trouble accepting among their midst.
Just like an over-ambitious father might torment their child for the purpose of transforming them into a chess prodigy, so does prog-rock stick the impressionable, large brains of some youngsters. Prog-rock has claimed more lives than we’d like to admit. It’s, essentially, a dangerous cult involving long guitar solos and expensive synthesizers.
Ben Burr’s P.O.V. speaks volumes about parental supervision in the U.S. If you’ve got a smart kid, he may develop a habit of crafting dense, tense, complex art-rock pieces like the one Burr creates. If not, he might become a junkie. Which one’s worse? Well, P.O.V. features elaborate instrumental workouts, nifty production trickery, and Burr’s own brand of zany humour. A junkie might just nick your wallet. Your choice!