Album of the Week: The Orwells’ Disgraceland


Rock ‘n’ Roll from Chicago

What do you get when a group of kids in their late teens and early 20s grab a bunch of instruments, turn the amps up to 11 and join forces with a lead singer who looks like Robert Plant? You get a rip-roaring, brain-melting rock ‘n’ roll band from Chicago called The Orwells. They have their second album, Disgraceland, out this week and it’s a doozy of a record. Each track has the right amount of grit, angst and devil-may-care attitude to give your ears exactly what they need. If Disgraceland doesn’t kick popular music on its ass in 2014, I might actually lose faith in humanity. It’s that good.

Despite being so young, this quintet has been making music together since high school. Seven years later, you could consider them music vets even though they can’t legally drink. What impresses me the most about The Orwells’ new album is the perfect combination of production quality and powerful songs. Ranging from tales about innocent teenage love, to dramatic suicide and one night stands, Disgraceland is as rock ‘n’ roll as it gets. After listening to this beauty, I can’t imagine a better album coming out in 2014.


Racist owners of sports franchises, angry middle-aged men throwing rocks at Ferraris, neo-Nazi reality TV one-hit-nevers and people talking about how World War III is going to happen by the end of the decade. We live on a pretty crazy, messed-up planet. Take a break from all the madness and ease your mind with the top tracks off of my Album Of The Week. It might not stop the impending apocalypse, but at least it can serve as the perfect soundtrack. Anyways, here goes something:

If you have long hair and you don’t plan on cutting it anytime soon, “The Righteous One” is your ideal jam. This is an anthem for youth rebellion that will have you going crazy in an instant; once you hear that hook you won’t be able to stop. Another rocker on the album is “Let It Burn;” the drumming is simply seismic as the backbone for a song about lighting up a cigarette after a one-night stand. I always love the deep tracks of an album and “Gotta Get Down” is an exception. Those dueling guitars electrify the whole song by getting louder and louder with each riff. Disgraceland is a complete masterpiece from front to back.

The Orwells will be one of the premier acts to see at Riot Fest in the band’s hometown of Chicago between September 12 and 14, which is a perfect way to finish off your summer music festival season. They’ll be going on tour with New York City punk act Skaters this fall with a stop at Brighton Music Hall in Boston on October 9. Hopefully The Orwells come down to Providence sometime and show us music fanatics what rock ‘n’ roll is all about. Until then, get yourself a copy of Disgraceland. It’ll blow your music taste away to new heights and you’ll never want to come down.

The Orwells’ website: