"Orange City" (Versailles Records; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

One Bad Son, citing bands like Guns N'Roses, Soundgarden and Led Zeppelin as influences, deliver the goods on "Orange City," with irresistible, guitar-driven rock'n'roll buoyed by a vocalist who sounds like Chris Cornell with Axl Rose attitude. It's an album that will have you banging your head while, at the same time, it sinks its hooks into you; hooks that will last days after your last listen through. 

By going back to the basics and staying honest with the music, One Bad Son have created a sort of masterpiece here. "Orange City" offers all the best of the classic hard rock sound, while offering just enough modern edge to make it all sound fresh and energetic. Imagine a melding of the aforementioned GNR and Soundgarden and you'll have a basic idea. 

Of course, it helps that the songwriting is top notch and that the album is loaded with monster riffs that move each song along rather than exist solely for the purpose of being monster riffs. But the CD's real star is vocalist Shane Volk, who can belt it out with the best of them, combining Cornell's amazing control and Rose's wiry energy into a truly outstanding vocal performance.

The band is at their best when they're tearing it up, as they do on tracks like "Gringo," "Brooklyn" and "Breckinridge" but every track on the CD stands on its own. "Orange City" is one place you'll want to go back and visit again and again and again.

One Bad Son: Adam Hicks - Guitar; Shane Volk - Lead Vocals; Kurt Dahl - Drums; Adam Grant - Bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 14:16:13 -0400 .