Heidi Drockelman, Indie-Music.com, USA
CD: Sonic Orange (Phase
Style: Driving Pop
Quote: "Sonic Orange has learned the fine art of
Like its fruity, tasty
namesake, Sonic Orange is instantly appealing, full of
meaty texture with just the right amount of sweetness.
This self-titled EP starts off innocently, with a
mild-mannered, well-crafted pop song that pulls you into a
world of simple melody and harmony. Before you know it,
your ears are being gently egged on and assimilating to
the easy, non-aggressive style that gently infects as it
continues to play. By the time you’ve reached the fourth
and final song, the feeling is that, well, you must push
play again because you may have missed something.
What is most appealing
about this particular effort is the potential. Sonic
Orange has learned the fine art of subtlety. That
doesn’t mean that this is lo-fi as opposed to screaming
guitar pop or bouncy teen pop. They walk that fine line
that balances above all areas of pop, but doesn’t
succumb to everyday trappings. It’s not something that I
necessarily got on the first listen, because this is the
type of knowledge that develops after you become familiar
with the band. There were many times that I couldn’t
precisely pinpoint why I became attracted to this disc,
but I think it boils down to the texture of the sound, as
opposed to what was necessarily being said. Vocally, Ollie
Moore, Jr. hits somewhere as a cross between Matthew
Sweet, Live’s Ed Kowalchyk, and the harmonic quality of
the band the Fly Seville. It’s familiar, but doesn’t
tread on the same territory as those artists. All the
players here are solid, but it’s their sound as a whole
sonic unit that makes this disc really work. Great
harmonies add even more depth and punch to simple themes
This band has a great base
to jump off of, I can’t wait to see them develop their
potential on a full-length effort.
There’s always been something unseemly about pop music.
On one hand, the catchy hooks and bubbly lyrics of pop
induce an almost uninhibited hedonism in me. The music
floats in a haze, bubbling up from the speaker and
exploding with pretty colors and noises. I can’t help
but listen. On the other hand, I feel guilty for liking
such empty music. I mean, usually, pop is
forgettable—existing only in the moment and then
dispersing. This is partly the reason I’ve turned away
from pop music. The genre seems bankrupt, recycling itself
layer upon layer in a Pomo induced coma. The only new
ideas coming from pop are the ironic reinterpretations of
the past. Nothing is meaningful and everything is ironic.
I was just about to give up on pop music. Then, I received
a copy of Sonic Orange’s self-titled album in the mail.
This album convinced me that pop music is not dying but is
being reinterpreted, without irony, on small labels and in
independent bands. Pop has been saved from itself.
comes straight out of San Francisco, California. The band
is composed of Ollie Moore Jr (lead/backing vocals), Steve
Chang (bass/backing vocals), Joe Bettencourt (guitars)
with Steve Silva (drums) and Dennis Moorehouse (drums)
contributing on several tracks. What separates this band
from the countless other pop clones coming out of
California is front man Ollie Moore Jr’s earnestness.
Moore sounds like he would be lost on the radio,
his voice blending into the countless other tenors of pop
and pop-punk bands. Yet, his voice remains unique through
a slight raspiness, a hint of breaking vocals, an off key
note resolved instantly. In “Sisters and
Brothers”—the second track of the four track album—Moore’s
voice blends perfectly with the bouncing distortion of the
guitar, singing “I can’t help / but give my life to
you” with such a total lack of irony, you can’t help
but believe him. His voice hints at a smile, almost
laughter, like he’s making a joke but not quite. There
is truth in his words, devoid of any postmodern ironic
contextual interpretation nonsense. In other words, Sonic
Orange transcends their peers bringing meaning back to pop
This is better
shown on the third track “A Far From You.” The slowest
track on the album, “A Far From You” starts with
ringing, plucked guitars shining over bouncing drumbeats.
The effect is both ethereal and grounded. Sonic Orange is
looking to the skies but only from their placement firmly
on the earth. Moore lazily sings “Outside my world
there’s life / and love and laughter / though within
these walls my tormented soul you’re after / once again
I’m stuck here miles and miles away from you / and I
guess there’s just one thing that’s left for me to
do.” From a less talented band, these lyrics would seem
cliché and—to be frank—hokey. But Sonic Orange
reclaims them. Moore sings the words with optimism in his
voice, believing the words he is singing only in the realm
of his own individuality. The words have meaning only
through Moore’s voice. These lyrics are not indebted to
the past—at least not in the postmodern sense—but to
Moore himself in the present as he is singing them. Gone
are references to the past, the winking nods of irony.
Sonic Orange is both pure and honest, something lacking in
today’s modern wasteland of pop-irony.
the band’s website, the first track of the album “A
Little Luck” is being considered to be featured on
MTV’s The Real World and Road Rules. Yet,
“A Little Luck” is the weakest track on the album.
Guitars grind away in a distortion haze, bouncing on pop
hooks, the drums melt into the background, unnoticed, and
Moore sounds canned and artificial. The music is good but
it’s nothing special. It does nothing new, unlike the
tracks following it.
song on the album is “Lay Down”, coincidentally the
last track. There is a slight country twang to the music,
Moore’s sharp tenor drawling over a quiet acoustic
guitar. The song seems to settle into a lethargic lope,
broken by chugging guitars of the chorus and Moore singing
“I know you have a heart / sometimes.” It is this
moment that the song breaks, pulled between the quiet
western lope leading up to the tightening chorus.
Moore’s voice hints at breaking, never resolved, but
always on the edge. This is honest music, control
maintained, but a breaking point always hinted. This is
perfect pop music.
is on the verge of something great. With the vast
emptiness of meaning within pop music today, Sonic Orange
brings a much-needed honesty to the genre. I really wish I
lived on the west coast. I would love to catch Sonic
Orange in concert. From the messages left on their
website, they apparently put on an amazing live show.
their album is an indicator of their talent, I’m sure
that I’ll be hearing much more from this band.
ORANGE - A Little Luck
Yes, they have a truly awful name, but this is alright.
Opener 'A Little Luck' is a bit Third Eye Blind, kind of
breezy American college rock. 'Sisters and Brothers'
is equally light, it's a laid back summery strum along,
with a guitar lick carved from pure sunshine.
Singing drummer Ollie Moore Jr. has an appropriately
rawled vocal lilt, and the whole thing is carried along on
a warm groove completely unsuited to the absolute shit
weather we're having today (it's sleeting outside as I
Kim - Producer/Director
of Raspberry & Lavender, USA
Sonic Orange is
probably one of the best upcoming bands yet to be
discovered by a massive audience. "A Little Luck" is truly
a great song!
Café du Nord, USA
feature members of Jupiter Sun, and their sound is a catchy indie-pop party that dabbles in yesteryear's shoegazing
Unsigned Bands Of Note Hailing from San Jose, Ca, Sonic Orange incorporates
the straightforward pop-rock of bands like Third Eye Blind and
Dishwalla in their self-titled EP.
Phase 45 Records, USA
"Rarely does a band come along that is in tune with the melodic
genius of the 60's, but yet maintains the modern edge of today's
music. Sonic Orange already takes claim to that notion, and is
soon to be regarded as the best up and coming guitar pop band
the world has ever seen. Set for a late 2002 release is their
self-titled debut album. This four song EP is filled with tasty
hooks and mouth-watering melodies that are sure to get your body
Zo eindigt de biografie van
Sonic Orange. De jongens lijken me niet erg bescheiden.
Het rockt er ook gelijk in met 'A Little Luck', een Jimmy
Eat World-achtig collegerock anthem. Een zure oprisping
Avril Lavigne/ Sum 41/ Third Eye Blind komt gelijk
opzetten. De stukgelopen relaties worden uitvoerig
bezongen, ".....it's time to break the rules, try
walking in my shoes and when you think you're over me,
I'll break your heart oh yes I do....". Dit zijn
echte grote mensen zorgen natuurlijk die het verdienen vol
passie bezongen te worden. Het nummer schijnt al
toepasselijk gebruikt te zijn voor MTV's The Real World.
Een voorloper van Big Brother waar relaties keer op keer
supersonisch op de klippen liepen.
'Sister And Brothers' het
tweede nummer gaat nog een stapje verder. “I wanna get
by on this institution, sisters and brothers in a
revolution”, de teksten moeten hier met een enorme
korrel zout genomen worden, wil je niet meteen de cd uit
je cdspeler rukken en erop gaan zitten. Het koelt wat af
na deze twee nummers en het gaat al wat meer de goeie kant
op. 'A Far From You' begint lekker met een frisse
gitaarpingel. De teksten natuurlijk wederom simpel van
aard en vol relatiebeslommeringen. Hier in vergelijking
met de voorgaande nummers zeker iets pakkends in de manier
van zingen. Een ingetogen stukje waar de kwaliteiten wat
meer boven komen borrelen is 'Lay Down' een akoestische
college ballade die als afsluiter het beste van deze EP
biedt. Eén voor één aardige poprock songs zonder veel
extras behalve het hoge pubergehalte in de teksten.
Britishrock E-Zine, Austria
Die Kalifornier Sonic Orange kommen aus San Francisco, ihre
erste kleine selbstbetitelte Scheibe wurde von Ollie Moore
(Vocals), Steve Chang (Bass), Joe Bettencourt (Guitars), Steve
Silva (Drums) und Dennis Moorehouse (Drums) produziert. Eine
Mischung aus Pop/Rock auf insgesamt 4 Songs der EP wartet auf
den Hörer. Der stärkste Song des Albums ist 'Lay Down', ein
akustischer Gitarrensong begleitet von Country Hooks und
Basslines. 'A Little Luck' wurde bereits auf MTV's The Real
World und Road Rules vorgetragen. Sänger Ollie Moore, meint zu
seiner Musik: 'Die Musik ist gut aber nichts es ist nichts
Besonderes. Wir wollten nichts neues machen, wir wollen einfach
gute Popmusik produzieren und nicht irgendwie mit Musik
herumexperimentieren.' Ihre perfekte Popmusik und ihr Album ist
ein Indikator ihres Talents, man kann sicher sein, daß man von
Sonic Orange noch jede Menge hören wird. Demnächst: Gewinne
eine Sonic-Orange CD!
A Far From You (Track 3)
Jason Goldman-Hall, The Sun, USA
Teens have a bash at The Crash
"Safe," "clean" and
"city-funded" are not adjectives often associated with
do-it-yourself rock garages. And Saturday-night music clubs
aren't usually promoted to the community as safe, wholesome
places for teenagers to congregate.
Taking a cue from the very groups it's trying to reach out
to, the city of Sunnyvale has gotten into the "do-it-yourself"
music venue business, and so far, it's reportedly defying
expectations--and filling several much-needed niches at the same
"We're looking to get the word out that there are things for
teens to do in the Bay Area, things they can do to relax, and it
doesn't have to just be mini-golf or movies," said Teen Advisory
Committee President Justin Reginato, 16, a junior at Saint
Francis High School. "Teens like to go to concerts, so we're
trying to give them someplace local to go."
Under-18 music clubs are hard to find in any area, and with
high school performing arts programs falling under budget cuts,
entertainment for teens in the area is going faster than your
average punk album.
"Anything for teens, especially music like this or any kind
of art, is good for them," said Sonic Orange guitarist Adam
Gonzalez, 23, who performed last in the concert. "They don't
even have a performing arts program at my high school anymore."
On Sept. 25, three bands--including Sonic Orange--joined two
dozen Sunnyvale-area high school students for the year's first
show at The Crash, held in the Fair Oaks Park building.
Admission was only $5 for nonresidents and $3 for residents, but
everyone had to have a valid ASB card from one of the area's
The last Saturday of each month during the school year, the
Fair Oaks Park building will transform into The Crash, with a
snack bar, PlayStation 2 and--of course--concert room.
Members of the Teen Advisory Committee and their adviser,
Sunnyvale provisional teen coordinator Staci Wolfe, put the
event together. City staff trained students to operate the
lights and mixing boards for the bands, making the place more
concert-friendly. According to some of the bands that played,
the curtains and blankets put on the wall to hide the boring
walls of the building actually improved the acoustics of the
The Crash is the next generation of The Fishbowl, the
Saturday night hangout that used to be held at Le Boulanger.
"The No. 1 priority is to provide a place for high school
teens to go, and music is a big part of their lives," Wolfe
said. "But there is not a whole lot of opportunities for
students under 18 to socialize; there's very few venues in the
Bay Area that cater to their age group. That's why we're calling
it The Crash, because they're crashing with their friends and
listening to music."
While attendees were limited to students with valid high
school identification, the bands were established staples of the
Bay Area's local rock scene, many of which frequent clubs
inaccessible to high school students.
The headliner of the night was Sonic Orange, a regular at
downtown San Jose 21-and-over venues. The band had to obey a
strict code of conduct or forfeit the $75 it would earn from the
"We typically say more adult-oriented things onstage, but we
don't need to cuss to have fun--just some groovy people,"
Gonzalez said. "And there were plenty of groovy kids out there."
Most of those "groovy kids" were 14- and 15-year-old girls,
who spent much of the night on the club's various beanbags and
chairs but got up to dance in the latter half of the show. Many
of them stuck around afterward to meet the band.
Fremont High School sophomore Elizabeth Thomas, Teen Advisory
Committee historian, said she was surprised how well it went and
loved that she got to see bands normally out of reach for people
She and fellow committee member Michele LaPointe, 14, said
advertising is the last thing they need to take care of if The
Crash is going to take off.
"I think it's really great, and I want to get my friends out
here," Michele--a freshman at Homestead High School--said. "We
need to promote like crazy now."
Justin said he was surprised because he had not gotten to
hear any of the demos sent in by the bands who played.
"I didn't know what to expect, but they were awesome," Justin
Wolfe said that while she had no doubt that teens would show
up to opening night, she was surprised by the quality of bands
that performed. The organizers are already listening to demos
from bands for their next few shows.
"I thought the music was great. We had three great bands, and
the people there seemed to be having a good time," Wolfe said.
"With it being our first time, I think it can only get better
Rock Under - Argentina
Sonic Orange EP
El EP de esta banda esta compuesto por cuatro canciones: las dos
primeras en tienen un estilo mas Weezer (salvando las millas de
distancia), con guitarras distorsionadas al frente y coros que
acompañan casi todo el tiempo; las otras dos donde bajan un poco
el tiempo y se deslizan canciones más suaves, guitarras limpias
y estribillos pegadizos. Un disco equilibrado, que no innova
pero resulta agradable escucharlo.
Sonic Orange As I write this, it's
rather late in the night, with rain tapping against the window
and little rumbles of thunder scattered infrequently as the
four-song EP from Sonic Orange spins round and round for its
sixteen-minute duration. Good time to a review an album? For
this one, damn right. Laid back tunes with a modern rock vibe
decorate this album, at times, such as on the closing track "Lay
Down" even an eerie country feel for a few seconds.
Everyone needs an album to come home and
relax to after a long day. This one is easily capable of filling
that roll. Both relaxing and mood setting, the album carries on
about the normal love topics, throw in a verse about revolution
in "Sisters And Brothers", and you have a brief glimpse into
what Sonic Orange is about.
While still to early and brief in
duration to find out what Sonic Orange is all about and what
their future may hold, for some, this may fill the roll well of
an album to mellow out too.
Artist: Sonic Orange
Title: Sonic Orange
Rating: 4 Stars/Great!
San Jose, California based rock band, Sonic Orange, is a band
worth listening to. Their head-bobbing rock edged music pulses
through the veins with an infectious rhythm reminiscent of music
past. You can definitely feel a great energy from the music.
Makes me want to see them live! This 4-track EP gives the
listener a taste and leaving them wanting more. Vocals are
smooth with great harmonies, musicianship is good, and
production is good. This band could definitely become the next
popular band of the next MTV generation. Well worth listening
Favorite Picks: "A Little Luck" and "A Far From You"
Sonic Orange - s/t (CD EP)
A bright, sparkling and promising 4 song
CD EP! Sonic Orange features members of Jupiter Sun and have a
sound that recalls Weezer on a shoegazing trail on a sunny day
with gentle melodies, tasty hooks and carefully blended sweet
and slightly crunchy guitars.
- "A Little Luck" San
Jose's Sonic Orange doesn't waste any time capturing the hook.
This lead off track from their wonderful 4 song EP is 3 minutes
of pop bliss. Strong production, songwriting, and harmonies
make this ear candy from a band that has a strong and growing
Pacific Arts Online Magazine, USA
The increasingly popular indie-pop band Sonic Orange will be
playing at Borders Books and Music in San Francisco on September
20th 2003. Led by lead vocalist and drummer Olie, this three-man
band takes indie-pop to a whole new level. Known for their
"melodic genius" and hip, modern-day edgy sounds, Sonic Orange
is a catchy, head bobbing live band that will be sure to get you
asking for more! Hosted by musician, Mica Lee Williams, they
will be performing for the USA Song Writing Competition
Jeff Lease, International
Artist Online, Australia
Orange - Self Titled
Defined as "A sugar spun splendor of citrus waves
moving at the speed of sound", Sonic Orange blend
rhythm and melody on their debut, self titled independent
release. A series of tasteful pop songs, the band relies
heavily on mellow guitar sounds and the vocal harmonizing
of it's songwriters - Olie Moore and Steve Chang. Good
chill out music, the dreamy guitar parts in "A Far From
You" approach the listener like a warm summer breeze and
"Lay Down" is a well written track about love lost but not
forgotten. Easy going and explorative Sonic Orange well
crafted pop songs are inspiring and heartfelt. (Phase 45