An amazingly productive band called Orange Hat emailed me to ask if I’d have a listen to their music. My response was “Yes, please!” (as it usually is when people let me know about music I haven’t heard before), so I was electronically escorted to their Bandcamp page where I found a dauntingly large amount of songs. Orange Hat’s discography there listed five albums, each having an entirely unreasonable amount of songs on it.
Pardon me as I get mathematical. I feel I need to do this to show just how daunting the task of listening to Orange Hat is:
- Polyester Yesterday has 16 songs
- Pufferfish has 14 songs
- Pterodactyl Universe has 20 songs
- Pork! has 25 songs
- Paisley Thrash has 5 songs (that’s not too bad – but only because it’s an EP)
That’s 80 songs. Eighty. A. T.
And those albums all start with the letter “P”. Why?
Anyway, I set myself the task of listening to all those songs. So I did. But I have a terrible admission to make: I didn’t listen all the way through each of those 80 songs. The typical scenario for what I ended up doing is this: I’d listen to half a song, get a feel for it, then look at the track list and squeal “Eek! Too many songs!”
Nevertheless, I did listen (albeit partially) to every song. For this post, and for the purposes of brevity (!), I’ll try to give an overarching view of the band’s oeuvre by playing you what I hope are representative songs from each album.
The Songs (a mercifully small selection)
From Polyester Yesterday:
From Pterodactyl Universe:
From Paisley Thrash:
When I paid attention to the lyrics (admittedly it wasn’t often, because I was concentrating on the music), I noticed that they were distinctly odd.
The lyrics to “Job & Shovel” will give you an idea of how pop music has the power to warp young minds:
“Job & Shovel” by Orange Hat
You’ve depressed my tongue
This is your last snapshot with the ignoramus
I’m making tracks
Before this deflates my flesh balloon
You won’t catch me wallowing in your footsteps
Or basking in your overblow
While you sit there ironing
Your crumpled paperback suit
Take this key and hovel
Take this job and shovel
Save your doubloon and wampum
I’ve got my own cross to bury
What gets on your nerves?
Nothing more than feelings
And I’d rather gnaw my arm off
Than live out this horrid snafu
There’s just no point in dancing
To restore an eclipsed moon
Probing Questions For The Band
Before I finish this particular post, I have some questions for the band about some of their songs (I hope they’re reading this post)…
1. In “Coffee & Key Lime Pie“was that a bass mistake at 1:01?; and are they deliberately dreadful background vocals?
3. In “I Got A Bendy“were you guys trying to mess with my mind?
6. Why is the guitar solo in “Cartoon Dead“so bad?
8. Why does the singing sometimes remind me of Glenn Tilbrook, especially in songs like “Squidhead Farmplow“and “Girlfriend Ex“? (Sorry, that was more of a rhetorical question. You don’t have to answer that.)
10. The less I say about “Hellfire!“the better. (That wasn’t a question at all. It was more a “Please don’t ever record anything like that again” statement.)
A Plea To Other Bands
If you’d like me to listen to your music, I’d be happy to. But please don’t send me your entire back catalogue. Thank you. I think I’ll have a little lie-down now.