Ever since I first saw The Orwells leering around the set of‘ ‘Later… with Jools Holland’ in 2013, as they tore through their breakout single Who Needs You, there seemed to be the sense that the band were on the brink of making it big (partially true, see the career-defining performance on ‘Letterman’ as proof) and then swiftly burning out like so many other suburban indie rockers before them. But how wrong it seems I was to judge several hard-partying post-teens by their covers. Fast forward nearly four years and The Orwells are up two records – latest full length Terrible Human Beings was released earlier in February – and down one doubting observer; now I’m a convert.
Forming while all bandmates were still in high school, cousins Mario Cuomo (vocals), Dominic Corso (guitar), brothers Grant and Henry Brinner (bass and drums) and childhood friend Matt O’Keefe (guitar) only managed to release their debut record Remember When after graduating but wasted no time in getting on the road. They toured pretty much non-stop over the next year and built up a rabid reputation as a live act along the way; somewhere between the depraved onstage antics of the Stooges and the chaos of their surf-punk touring buddies FIDLAR. After releasing a string of attention grabbing singles (Dirty Sheets, the aforementioned Who Needs You), the follow up was 2014’s Disgraceland that earned nods from NME for its pounding garage blues rhythms and fuzzed out riffs. Now though, with Cuomo setting out to write more mature lyrics that aren’t all about being young, dumb and full of a cocktail of drugs, The Orwells step out on the road once again with Terrible Human Beings; probably their most grown up sounding record, if not their wildest.
Don’t for one second think the band are planning on cleaning up their act onstage though. Keen to still be every bit as exciting as the punk bands they take after, their UK tour is set to be a whirlwind of loud guitars, stage dives, sweat and copious amounts of alcohol. Tickets still available so if you can; grab one, if you already have; make sure to hold on tight.