Orange Phoenix

Orange Phoenix

Dubbed Phoenix in honour of their oh-so-monumental losing of original band members, Hollywood teenage punks Orange's fourth full-length does little to incite anything other than the same old questions: how deep can someone's aping of Rancid's Tim Armstrong, and now Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong, go, and is Armstrong so mired in nepotism that he only signs bands that sound like his? Suffice to say that Phoenix is the quartet's most polished, accomplished and creative venture to date but that's about as complimentary as commending your dog for taking a particularly large dump. There's nothing unique about the record, which relies on the most obvious aspects of pop punk's 30-year history to ensnare listeners. One should slap a President's Choice label on this generic slop. Still, Phoenix might be insulting to discerning music fans but that means it's also a potential radio gem. Songs are fleshed out with some modestly-barbed tunes that could stick to fragile minds and the overall pop factor has been boosted tenfold, so it remains to be seen if those kiddies who have just put down their Hannah Montana records will be enthralled with this "punk" thing they've heard about. Unsurprisingly, Phoenix should aid that curiosity, being the most saccharine, obvious, inoffensive and PG version of pop punk possible, barring some Looney Tunes offshoot. (Hellcat/Epitaph)