They should have called it 'Be Hair Now'...
They should have called it ‘Be Hair Now’. In fact, named after a line from The Who’s po-faced pomp-opera ‘Tommy’,
this second LP by Californian
dreamers Oranger proves them a cut above their ’60’s-obsessed brethren. Lacing their patchouli-scented satchel with a sense of manic mischief, they’re an idiosyncratic antidote to the love-bead rattle of fellow back-peddlers
like The High Llamas.
So maybe ‘Suddenly Upsidedown’ sounds like the theme to [I]Pigeon Street[/I]. We’ll even forgive their Anglophilia and penchant for vowel-mangling Dick Van Dykery (witness the way “springtime” becomes, bafflingly,”springtoyyyme”), because ‘The Quiet Vibration Land’ is, essentially, the missing link between ‘Pet Sounds’ and the Small Faces’ ‘Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’.
Naturally, it’s easy to mock Oranger’s refusal to allow any form of modernity to sneak into their carefully crafted hothouse. But the melodic power of such quaint, kaleidoscopic nuggets as ‘Sorry Paul’ and it’s woozy, Byrds-ian buddy ‘Stoney Curtis In Reverse’ isn’t just difficult to ignore – it’s downright irresistible. They may be several hits short of a bong, but Oranger have got the skills to carry off such ultimately daft thrills.