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Orange Park and Hurry-Up Offense
Another band to have a Japanese connection are punksters Hurry-Up Offense who after a quick tour with Army Of One through the Southeast are off to Tokyo for a series of gigs. To keep things fresh, the band boasts two frontmen: bass player Max Leavitt and guitarist Jason Brandt who both combine with drummer Peter Light to produce a power-packed trio who pound out both headbangers and heady tunes of insight and inspiration. Their latest release The Labor Day EP officially debuts in March but it has already been touted up in the CMJ New Music Report. Produced by Mikki James, in its just three songs, “Punk Life (Juicy),” “Knock Down” and “Think Out Loud” it manages to showcase Hurry-Up Offense as a diverse unit capable of deftly handling either a rap tune or a pure punk ‘n roll rocker. The CD follows up the full length Donald Moore album of last year.
|Commentary and photos by Jeff Rey, unless otherwise noted
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|Orange Park at Luna Lounge Above: Justin Moore and Chris Harvey
Left: Jeff Moore;
not pictured, drummer Jaye Moore
From top: Jason Brandt, Peter Light & Max Leavitt
At the stroke of midnight, Orange Park kicked off 2004 in the spotlight of the Luna Lounge’s stage. And it looks like the spotlight will remain focused on one of the premier buzz bands of NYC throughout this year. This past Fall a lengthy feature in the New York Times turned a lot of new people on to the powerfully melodic pop and rock sensibilities of the Brooklyn group, and now a recent episode of the Japanese documentary TV series New York Streets has music fans from Tokyo to Kagoshima labeling Orange Park the 21st Century Beatles. Followers of the band can understand that zealous response from Asia. Fanatics in their own right, they come to shows ready to dance and sway to brothers Justin and Jeff Moore’s melodic harmonies, driving guitars and emotional lyrics for songs of love lost and found like “Make Up Your Mind” and “Glass.” Providing the big beat behind it all is cousin Jaye Moore on drums and, the quiet one, bassist Chris Harvey.
Jaunts up and down the east coast as well as a cross-country mini-tour have also helped bring Orange Park’s music to the masses. Plus a U.K.
single is set to be released in March on Monophonic Records. And a perhaps telling sign are the messages from a horde of young girls who write in to the band’s message board pleading for the guys to do more all-age shows. Samples of their music and listings of upcoming gigs are posted on Orange Park’s website.