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"Who Needs You EP"

The Orwells – Who Needs You EP
04 September 2013, 11:00 Written by Sam Davies

A dirty, dramatic and dangerous next effort was probably what everyone was expecting from emerging Chicago rockers The Orwells, but quite likely what everyone wanted as well. In that respect, the Who Needs You EP delivers in full, and on time, even if it’s slightly less likely to stop you in your tracks than their stunning Other Voices EP from earlier in the year.

It couldn’t have started stronger than with ‘Who Needs You’ however. Combining the already much-aped driving rock of Drenge with a tinge of US tour buddies FIDLAR’s off the rails punk, you’ll want to sign your life away to it from the opening drumbeats. ‘Open Your Eyes’ however takes a depressing turn towards cliché, with Mario Cuomo’s insistence of “I wanna be your man” merely passing one by on the search for something more meaningful in one’s day. Fortunately, things are put back on course with ‘Salvation Is a Parking Lot’s collection of muckily catchy guitar solos.

Who Needs You’s highlight is however yet to come. Despite its weird Grease­-style opening (yep, Grease the musical), once ‘Halloween All Year’ progresses with Cuomo’s order to “get a knife from the kitchen and follow me”, everything suddenly becomes not a little unnerving. It culminates in the singer sounding like he’s literally coughing up his guts, a fine show of the intensity which sits at the heart of every Orwells track.

Though topping the Other Voices EP was a slight step too far for a band still in their infancy, there’s enough to its follow up to suggest the inevitable mayhem that follows on The Orwells’ next record will be worth keeping yourself in their firing line for.

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