California Oranges Oranges & Pineapples

Fans of Holiday Flyer have had absolutely no reason to be glum about the band’s demise because it didn’t signal the end of the members’ involvement in the recording industry. Quite the reverse in fact, because there are now two new bands rising from the ashes. The Sinking Ships are Katie Conley-Haley’s new band, while her brother John Conley ended up in California Oranges. Both bands share the same other backing band (with John even doing double duty on guitar), yet they don’t sound the same. Not even close. California Oranges are the heavier of the two bands in a purely indie-pop kind of way, so there’s nothing to be too frightened of because it means they’ve only cranked their amps up to six. It is still all about a catchy tune and Oranges & Pineapples has no shortage of those. They also have another secret weapon in the vocal interplay between Conley and bassist Verna Brock, adding some more sweetness to what is already a confection generously dusted with sugar. Unfortunately even though the album is over in just over 27 minutes, there are still a couple of songs that feel like filler, implying that they aren’t quite ready to make their best work yet. Maybe next time. (Darla)