iTunes Single of the Week: The Orwells, “Who Needs You”


This week’s featured artist, the Orwells, have achieved a bit of notoriety already; they appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman earlier this year, and their energetic, over-the-top and not-quite-note-perfect performance of this week’s single quickly went viral.  One thing to keep in mind:  these guys are young.  They just graduated high school last year.  They have that frenetic, Battle-of-the-Bands vibe still, and while their sound is far from polished, its rawness is more than made up for with its fun factor.  I’m gonna show my age again with the reference, but to me they sound a lot like the Dead Milkmen.  (That’s a compliment, by the way– the Milkmen were my punk heroes when I was young.)  Hailing from the Chicago area, the group is led by singer Mario Cuomo (no relation), pumped full of adrenaline by guitar duo Dominic Corso and Matt O’Keefe, and rounded out by a rhythm section consisting of twin brothers Grant and Henry Brinner on bass and drums, respectively.

The song itself is an awesomely messy, thrash-worthy track, with a standout bass line from Grant Brinner that bounces like the bubbles in a soda and an O’Keefe guitar solo that could blister paint off walls.  It’s the prototypical anti-establishment punk anthem, but it feels more fun than angry, despite its middle-finger lyrics, delivered in Cuomo’s irony-tinged yelp.  Previously released on an EP of the same title, “Who Needs You” is also featured on their upcoming album Disgraceland, set to drop on June 3.  After their Letterman appearance, they received the rare honor of Dave himself asking for an encore, but they were unable to continue due to O’Keefe having broken every string on his guitar already– testimony to how hard these guys go at it.  Anyway, it’s a fist-pumping, pogo-ing good time, and well worth the download.  The SeriouslyFluffy Final Grade:  A-

I’ll leave you with the video from the infamous Letterman performance, in all its raw, thrashing, chair-plopping glory:



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