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The Orwells: Who Needs You

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The Orwells have the essential garage-punk attitude—brash, mischievous and ready to charge through a wall.

Who Needs You, the second EP of the summer from this fast-rising quintet of suburban Chicago teens, rises and burns like a flare, four songs streaking across the sky, gone quick, but with a burned-into-the-memory presence.

Two of these songs are nods to The Orwells' ancestors—"Open Your Eyes" is subtitled "A Misfits Rip-Off" and "Salvation Is a Parking Lot" a "Black Lips Rip-Off." Both are right to a degree, but downplay the band's own fine sense of melody and structure. Next is "Halloween All Year," a live version of a song from the band's 2012 Autumn Tone Records debut Remember When.

The EP's real power rests in opening track "Who Needs You" (produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek), a tune that's raw, energetic and catchy enough on its own to hold the band aloft for quite some time. It's a song of generational protest, the band asking only for the chance to live their own lives: "Listen up forefathers / I'm not your son."

It's too tempting to write about The Orwells in the context of their age. Yes, the suburban Chicago teens are accomplished beyond their years, but this is hardly minor league shit. Stack The Orwells against anybody and the Who Needs You and Other Voices EPs are lively, infectious and simply incredible.

Eric Swedlund

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