The Bright Orange Yearsby Volcano Suns
Between Ian MacKaye and "Sherman the Tank," the thank-you list on the back of The Bright Orange Years tellingly acknowledges beer. Somewhat akin to what would follow with the remainder of the Volcano Suns' records, their 1985 debut is a messy sprawl of basement jams. Regardless of how long it took for the record to be made, the restless energy gives the feel of 12 songs written and recorded in one alcohol-soaked night. A batch of fast and furious raucous blasts form the basis of the record ("Descent into Hell," "Promise Me," "Animals"), broken up by the occasional instrumental ("Truth Is Stranger Than Fishing") and midtempo breather ("Balancing Act"). The arrangements are more straight-ahead and less experimental than Peter Prescott's former band, but they're no less interesting. Structural conventions are rarely messed with. During "Cornfield," a noisy piano comes into play that sounds like Nicky Hopkins attempting to beat a wind chime at its own game, and a couple short spates of weird interplay between Prescott and new partners Jeff Weigand (bass) and Jon Williams (guitar) break the mainly hyper-folk and '60s garage band flow. Lead-off track "Jak" is the real standout, one of the Suns' most tuneful and strummy numbers. Solid and endlessly fun, it's their finest record.
- Release Date:
- Merge Records
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