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|All dressed in black, with the brothers Moore anchoring opposite sides of the stage, Orange Park project a spooky sibling sameness that is reminiscent of either the mop-topped early Beatles – or those creepy kiddies from The Village of the Damned. But once the music starts, just as the Who said (and Cheap Trick embellished), you know these kids are alright – they just seem a little strange. And with power-pop harmonies and hooks throughout, you can guess those two vintage groups had an influence or two here. Yet, for me Orange Park immediately brought to mind the Jam circa 1977 when that neo-mod punk group made their initial club foray into the States. True, Orange Park doesn’t have the mod accessories (except perhaps for their hair cuts) nor do they flail about the stage like those U.K. boys did. But that raw brute energy is there despite the carefully constructed vocals and commercial sensibilities of songs like “For Once In My Life” and “Glass.”
|Orange Park doesn’t rely on the tried and true formulas for churning out pop tunes – there’s something dark, maybe dangerous, beating beneath that seemingly innocent veneer should you dare to look.
|Justin Moore and brother Jeff, trading off on lead vocals and guitars kept things interesting throughout the set I caught at a recent Luna Lounge show. And the duo of Chris Harvey on bass and Jaye Moore (a cousin) on drums brought the strong rhythms to the forefront. In fact, that’s where you’ll find Harvey – front and center on stage – as if Orange Park is telling us that it’s the beat and the bottom that really matters. And that’s what separates this band from many of the other pop practitioners. There’s a distinct edge to Orange Park that doesn’t rely on the tried and true formulas for churning out pop tunes – there’s something dark, maybe dangerous, beating beneath that seemingly innocent veneer should you dare to look. Orange Park may be as tight as a 60s sit-com family, but something is definitely brewing in Pleasantville.
|Orange Park came out of the Williamsburg, Brooklyn scene about three years ago and released a four-song EP in 2002 (The Extended Play) produced by Peter Nim (Longwave, Sea Ray). One of the cuts, “Make Up Your Mind,” has been all over the airwaves and the web. This past year they toured with Longwave and also embarked on an adventurous cross-country mini-tour that included the International Pop Overthrow Festival in L.A. No rest for these guys, they’ve jumped right back into the New York groove and continue to gig constantly. They’re also in the process of recording a full length album titled Songs From The Unknown and East Coast and Midwest tours are in the offering this Fall.
|Commentary and photos by Jeff Rey
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