Miss Alex White and The Red Orchestra CD review [In The Red]

Music Reviews
Miss Alex White and The Red Orchestra CD review [In The Red]
Mar 1, 2007, 04:02



At some point during the past ten or so years while I was nappin' under the shade tree in the side yard, a whole mess of industrious young shop-rats took it upon themselves to overhaul what was a terribly aged vehicle known as punk rock. I'm talkin' some dent repair, sanding, primering, and painting on top of what the mighty Goner machine rolled out of the garage back in the early 90's. Funny thing about this redo is the kids put a little more punk shine on the painted parts and pulled off some of the chrome that your higher brow types woulda polished to the nines. One of these new rides is driven by a Chicago gal by the name of Miss Alex White who's bolted down Wes and Fast Eddie of the (sorely missed) Clone Defects as the twin-guitar drive train providing the power to this sled. This self-titled debut finds White and crew thumpin' a pretty mean punk beat somewhere between X-Ray Spex and Lethal Weapon. The comparison almost makes itself with White's voice sounding like a wonderful mix of Poly Styrene's and Kat Arthur's. However, White and the Orchestra have done a decent bit of blueprinting to keep this year's model appreciably different from those sittin' on the used lot. To wit, there's a fuzz-soaked blues groove that permeates several of the songs on this disc (such as “Station Patience”), and a great northern soul shouter to be found in the song “On Time.” Come to think of it, a good number of tunes on this long player could've appeared on some of those Greasy Pop releases 20 years ago—anyone remember Liz Dealey and the Twenty Second Sect or the Primevils? This disc closes on a couple of high notes in the forms of the ball bustin' “Walk Around” and the effects-fucked-to-oblivion “Chainsaw.” Nicely done. [In The Red]

-Mike Trouchon

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