At times reminding me of another of my local favorites, Geographer, at others reminding me of some earlier Radiohead stuff, 7 Orange ABC showed up last Thursday at the Starry Plough in Berkeley ready to rock, roll, chill, psych out, and get a less-than-packed house (but still a solid showing of people) lost in the soundtrack to our lives for sixty minutes.
I caught the last couple songs of Camaron Ochs. She, strapped up with guitar and flanked on either side by two female singers, eased me into the evening. It was a bit of a surprise as I came getting ready for something a little rockier, but Camaron brought a nice velvet touch to open the show.
One of the best surprises of the night was Belly of the Whale. When you’ve got a frontman sporting a captain’s hat and a band name fraught with nautical implications, you know you’re in for a good time. They sounded like the cowboys of the sea, anchored by simple singalong choruses and a quirky pop sensibility. My favorite of the band’s components were the inclusion of both a violinist and a trumpet player, who speckled the sound waves with a beautiful extra hue.
7 Orange ABC hit the stage and made believers of the uninitiated. They played “Just Like a Dream”, a track you can catch over on their MySpace. I’ve been listening to it regularly over the past week and between the warbly lead riffs and the hauntingly-thin-but-all-at-once-engrossing background vox, it has become a mainstay in my playlist. Having a stand up bass is always a welcome sight (and sound) as well, especially when the bassist breaks out the bow on occasion.
The guys are fairly new to the scene, but they’re well worth the the time if you like pre-electronic Radiohead and those like them. Your next shot is going to be at the Uptown in Oakland on December 16th. Be there. Seriously.