One Track Mind: The Orange Peels, “9” (2014)

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Formed in 1994, the Orange Peels create music that causes hearts to flutter, knees to tremble, and toes to twitch. Made up of lead singer, guitarist and keyboardist Allen Clapp, guitarist John Moreman, bassist Jill Pries, and drummer Gabriel Coan, the Northern California never ceases to beam with brilliance, so it’s only natural their latest single, “9” (due today from Minty Fresh Records/Mystery Lawn Records) continues their philosophy of excellence.

Named after the area’s iconic Silicon Valley highway, “9” is ignited by a blast of tribal drumming, followed by an explosion of sharp and stinging licks. Bright and bubbly vocals backed by choruses of butter-melting harmonies temper the terrain before slipping into a pumping jam of gritty and gutsy instrumentation. Going into hypnotic overdrive, the song is further peppered with a bounty of psychedelic bliss, while the melodies swell and sparkle with excitement.

Aflame with energy and grooving breaks, “9” comfortably blends edgy power pop, swaggering swamp rock, and glistening sunshine pop into a strong and vital statement. Snippets of bands such as Weezer, Fountains of Wayne, Moby Grape, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Millennium, and the Clique may be rooted in the tune, but as always, the Orange Peels stress their own original fashions first and foremost.

Catchy and imaginative, “9” is a stupendous slice of pop rocking sounds that tirelessly captures the many admirable aspects of the Orange Peels. Now that our appetites have been whetted with this great song, the hunger for an album is at hand. The Orange Peels are actually like potato chips: One is never enough!

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