Orphan Boy - Passion, Pain & Loyalty

Antonio Rowe 11/08/2010

Rating: 3.5/5

Orphan Boy are a trio from Cleethorpes, who are now based in Manchester - after a decision to up-sticks and move to the big city - in the hope of receiving more exposure.

Some of you may know of them prior to this review, they released their debut 'Shop Local' back in 2008, which enjoyed some cult success as a result of the album's raw and rough-around-the-edges approach, an LP where choruses were banned in favour of songs that contained intense bursts of post-punk experimentation.

So it may surprise some of those fans when I say, that their sophomore effort 'Passion, Pain & Loyalty', is well and truly their bid for mainstream success - this LP sees Orphan Boy adopt a more poppy and melodic sonic, where choruses are welcome and the lyrics are introspective and relatable.

This extreme 'artistic' development is one that conjures mixed results: when done correctly the smooth production and interplay between the guitar, drums and synths all comes together to fabricate hip-swaying potential hits (see 'Popsong' with it's pounding drum beats), but when their take on rock/pop doesn't quite hit the mark it come across abit dreary and rehashed (see 'Letter to Anne''Anderson Light Blues', is the pinnacle of twisted charm, with it's punk mentality, eccentric lyrical yarn and harmonica intro. However, 'Remember' and 'Some Frontier'Scouting For Girls can be welcomed by the chart listeners, then anyone can)

'Passion, Pain & Loyalty' is an LP that could be regarded as mere lad-rock at a glance of the cover art, but after a couple of listens it ends up being so much more.