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The Orange Man Theory – Riding a Cannibal Horse from Here to…

Merendina Will Have…
Where We’re Going…

Indelirium
2005

When album cover stickers mention people other than the artist, such as engineers or guest performers, they shortchange and potentially overshadow the artist. That’s the case here. The sticker says “Produced by Steve Austin, TODAY IS THE DAY, Featuring Steve Austin on Guest Vocals and Synth.” No mention of the actual band, The Orange Man Theory.

That’s both shameful and ironic, as the production is the only thing holding this album back. Steve Austin isn’t some synth virtuoso, so that bit puzzles me. This band doesn’t need to ride on his coattails. Basically, it’s hardcore punk with some rock ‘n’ roll.

Sure, a million bands do this now. But The Orange Man Theory stands out, since its rock vibe is unforced. You don’t get the awkward “Agnostic Front in the verses, Pantera boogie in the middle” thing so many bands do. Instead, there’s a true bluesiness here, which weirds me out, since it’s an American sound, and this band is from Rome. I get a slight Unsane vibe, maybe some Dischord, maybe some Botch.

The production is pretty rough. The drums lack punch, the ride cymbal jumps out of the mix, and the guitars are coarse and curiously twangy. However, I don’t mind. Music like this should sound raw. While I wouldn’t choose this particular sound, it’s better than some of the higher-budget productions I’ve heard for similar material. You can find this album for cheap at Interpunk.

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