Featuring a variety of heavy instrumentals amid themes of happiness and bliss, The Orange Constant’s new album, “Peel,” was released on May 12 and is the Athens-based rock band’s third studio album.
The unit recorded these sounds for the past year and a half with Grammy-nominated producer and Athens native John Keane, according to a press release. The album contains mostly new material and funk rock, a sound they are already familiar with. The album features various dynamics that showcase the band’s talents, from producing instrumental-only to upbeat and vocal-filled songs.
"What You're Asking For"
The first track, “What You’re Asking For,” starts with warm, heartfelt guitar chords which accompany vocalist Andrew Brantley’s alternative tone. The harmonies and rhythms create one large sound package of both pop and alternative styles which prelude the rest of the album.
The album then moves to a more upbeat and happy tone in the second track, “Reliance,” creating a different mood from the first song. This beachy, Bob Marley-like tune doesn’t fit the band’s traditional alternative rock feel. However, it includes a guitar riff that brings the song back to the band’s roots. The tune ends on a minor note clash to transition to the next song, as if telling a story that is now taking a new turn.
“Reincronic” goes through the instrumental motions of highs and lows without the need of any vocals. The guitar substitutes lyrics with simple melodies and the feelings of excitement and thrill as if the listener is going on an adventure.
"Far From Home"
The next track, “Far From Home” reinstates the rhythmic funk vocals the band is accustomed to. It goes through the journey of a man’s feelings of helplessness and disorientation. The repetition of the lyrics “but so far from home” after telling a change in his life demonstrates these emotions.
Coming in fifth on the album, “The Blackout” features the ebb and flow between techno and folk. By adding in simple two-to-three guitar chords while a funky beat accompanies the background, it provides variety to the song in the five minutes it allows. The slow and smooth vocals join in halfway through the song for a few verses, but it quickly switches back and forth between vocal and instrumental. When the vocals join, the tempo slows then picks back up, as if telling a musical story about chaos and stillness.
“Reach” initially tells a lonely and single story with a simple, isolated guitar riff in the beginning. Between guitar flourishes throughout the track and the repetition of the lyrics, “should’ve left it alone,” this song deems itself a passionate and heavy story.
A song with a more energetic and happy beat, “Go!” feels like a traditional summertime track in a coming-of-age movie. The lively piano in the background provides a separate and upbeat tune which isolates the vocals, which are almost in opposition with the accompanying instruments.
Following “Go!,” “Banana” takes you back to the band’s funk roots with a slow and calming guitar feature to open the song. Just under two minutes long, this happy little tune feels like the sun breaking through the clouds to provide a moment of light. It shows off the band’s talent and ability to tell a story in a short amount of time and without lyrics.
"Fadin' the Line"
To end the album, “Fadin’ the Line” takes listeners back a few generations with an upbeat, vintage sound. Taking a more classic rock and blues theme, this song is an energetic headbanger. Throughout the song, each instrument has its moment to shine; a piano solo and a drum solo are followed by a quick break to bring everything down and rise back up. The combination of these features and multiple tempo changes make “Fadin’ the Line” a fun conclusion to the album.