Big fan of The Clique here, so the idea of a new Aunt Nelly album (a band containing a couple of former members) certainly appeals.
Shades of Orange is the band’s second long player and to be fair, it’s a pretty good collection of tunes. My heart sunk a bit when I saw two fairly obvious covers amongst the tracklisting, but to be fair, even those tunes comes out pretty well.
Fans of The Clique will find much to enjoy here, as will fans of The Prisoners. Album opener (and arguably strongest track) Helena could easily pass for that band in its pomp. But overall, we’re very much in the land of garage/beat revival and thankfully, with a fairly authentic sound too. The production is all too often where bands operating in this area fall flat on their faces. Not so here.
Like I said, the album opener is the pick of the bunch, but there are a few tunes that run it a close second, most notably when the tempo drops a little and the song comes to the fore on the likes of Fierce Woman Blues, Let Me Sleep, Round and Around and Misery.
As for those covers, they’re Satisfaction and Purple Haze. Yes, I know. But to the band’s credit, they do give them a unique arrangement, the former being fairly Hammond-driven, the latter also, as well as coming with a slight change of tempo. Crisis averted.
A couple of tracks pass me by (the JTQ-esque instrumentals, if I’m honest), even after a few listens, but overall this is a pretty strong set of tunes. As I said, if The Clique, The Prisoners or any of those ‘Children of Nuggets’ appeal to you, not to mention a bit of freakbeat, there’s a good chance this will too.
Shades of Orange is available now from Time For Action records.