The Orcas is a band composed of Alex Wanaka and Angus Johnson that started playing music in third grade. At twenty years of age, they are still very young and while taking a break from school made an album entitled Anti-Bike Boys.
The album is thirteen songs and fifty-seven minutes long. The songs really seem to embrace an “indie rock” type of sound. I was reminded of a lot of different artists but in particular I compare them to Tame Impala, especially the earlier material.
They are a number of gems on this album. The opener “Pooldrainer” was a killer track melding elements of surf and rock. It’s an accessible song and also one of the songs that reminded me specifically of Tame Impala.
They also have success with “Banyan” which sounded like a more psychedelic version of The Strokes. The song is straightforward but well done and easy to appreciate. I think the highlight was “Hydration” which was a near perfect mix of synth pop and rock. I was getting some ‘80s vibes but more in the spirit of the resurgence we have heard from The Chromatics and Cut Copy.
I would say the songwriting and tone was very consistent. They clearly have chemistry and I think the fact that they have been working on music since they were little kids creates an undeniable sort of understanding of where they are trying to get to with the music.
As an engineer myself this is by all accounts a very lo-fi home recording. I know for a fact a professional mastering engineer would have helped with separation, compression and other technical issues. Suffice it to say I would love to hear a bump in fidelity next time around.
The band is talented and I thought this was a solid and seamless album. I hope they continue to make music and I have a feeling they will. Recommended.
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