by Tim Creter
Guitar feedback creeps from soft to loud. All of a sudden your head and shoulders begin to move to the addictive groove. This is Orange 9mm, and this is their second full-length, Tragic. From the grinding groove opener “Fire in the Hole,” it’s obvious that this band hasn’t lost any of their potent hardcore crossover sound. There is much more experimentation and a broader range of influences present on this new release than on their previous effort, Driver Not Included. There are two interlude tracks between songs of Chaka free-style rap. There is also use of acoustic guitar for harmony in “Dead in the Water” and f for all-out weirdness on the closing cut, “Kiss it Goodbye.” From track one, the band shifts to a hard-edged hip-hop feel in the title track “Tragic,” then to tribal rhythms on “7,” while still maintaining their familiar heavy rock sound on songs like “Method” and “Take You Away.” All in all, the Orange ones have let their creative side rule on this release, making it truly outstanding. I’d say they outdid their last, because they weren’t afraid to let their potential take them to strange new places while retaining a hard edge. Orange 9mm gets my pick for the band to see and hear this year. Slick and satisfying. Triumphant, not tragic.