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Disgraceland
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Performer Notes
  • Audio Mixer: Chris Coady .
  • Recording information: Dreamland Studios, Woodstock, NY; Federal Prism, Los Angeles, CA; Fish Factory Studios; Konk Studios, London; Soma Studios, Chicago, IL.
  • Photographers: Colin Lane; Virgilio Tzaj.
  • Listening to Disgraceland, the second album from Illinois-based garage rock revivalists the Orwells, the band's languid sound and jaded cool make it easy to almost forget that just a year ago its members were graduating from high school. And rather than be a hindrance to the band, their age is actually a boon. Having come of age when the garage revival was coming to a boil, it's clear that the Orwells learned a lot from bands like the Strokes and Black Lips, embracing not only the sound, but the "like it or don't, whatever" attitude that those bands exude. And because the band is focused on doing their own thing and not trying to make the listener suspend their disbelief, Disgraceland effortlessly evokes that unselfconscious vibe. Opening with the lines "From the East coast to the West/We ain't the worst we ain't the best/Drink all night I'm such a mess/There's something missing from my chest" frontman Mario Cuomo delivers the lines like a mission statement on "Dirty Sheets." Underneath the humbleness of that sentiment lies the attitude at the heart of the band, and to some extent, Disgraceland itself. The Orwells aren't worried about being the best or setting the world on fire; they just want to play music and have fun because it's an essential part of their being. And like the late-night cautionary tales that play out in their songs, the real key to enjoying the Orwells is to just not overthink it and listen and enjoy the music, because time spent pontificating about their age is time that could be better used for partying. ~ Gregory Heaney
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