Orphan Boy - Passion, Pain & Loyalty
Alarm bells star ringing when an essentially unknown band announce that they are moving away from their post-punk past to concentrate on songs that are "more melodic and musical". It's natural to be suspicious, to wonder whether they are so desperate to become successful that they're simply compromising in order to make anaemic and identikit radio-friendly music. For Orphan Boy's second album, these suspicions have more than a little grounding in truth. It opens promisingly enough with a fuzzy organ intro to ‘Letter To Annie’ but soon deteriorates as song after song sounds remarkably similar to those from a plethora of bigger and better bands. Dip into the top hat of mainstream indie and pull out any one from Doves, Keane, White Lies or Coldplay. Even ‘80s Scottish rockers Big Country get a look in on ‘Some Frontier’ which sounds like an outtake from The Crossing. Only the desolation of closer ‘A180 Song’ hints at the possible avenues that Orphan Boy could have explored but, by then, the vast majority of the listeners will have long since questioned the passion, experienced the pain and exchanged loyalty for the more familiar territories of the acts who've covered this ground already.