by Jeff Milo
Still, think of it, it's been 21 years since The Orange Roughies have played a show - that's enough time for any young heavy-hearted pop-loving, new-wave-leaning post-punk romantic to have been born, raised, riled and reared, had his (or her) said-heavy-heart broken three times over, graduate high school, go to college, graduate again and start a life of legal drinking.
For the contemporary indie/underground scene - the re-arrival of Orange Roughies and the Junk Monkeys could prove to be an exhilerating treasure, some gem mined from beneath the dusty digital rug of the Internet - sounding as sweet and essentially as relevant as ever - their brand of shambling, guitar-crunched dream pop has been reemployed by many, from bigger touring national's like Crystal Stilts (Frankie Rose?) or the Dum Dum Girls, or locals like Pewter Cub.
That taste for bouncing, buzzy grooves, shimmering guitars shredding out these surf-toned, tiny twirls, and heart-on-the-sleeve vocals crooning and soaring over punchy, punk-friendly percussion, seems to be alive and well.
Not that either band, Hippodrome included, is going to sound precisely like the recordings they put out back in the late 80's and early 90's. The two points to take away here are:
a.) its can be heartening, maybe a little nostalgic, but more importantly, on some occasions, enlightening to dive back into the old recordings (Orange Roughies via allmusic / Junk Monkeys via allmusic- )- themselves a snapshot of the "Detroit scene" as it was, 21-years ago - and see how much has changed - how much has stayed. (I know, sorry...cliches might be unavoidable for reunion-articles).
But, b.) this isn't your typical reunion show (May 5th @ Paychecks). This is a matter of camaraderie - not cash. These groups are coming back together to help raise funds for a friend, one battlng cancer without insurance. There's no Chinese Democracy to spin or Van Hagar baggage to shamelessly sell, these bands are getting together, now, as grown men, for their friend and for the pure fun of it.
Not your typical reunion. But it'll be great to see these bands back up on the Hamtramck stage(s) they first cut their teeth on, two decades back.
Another pleasant surprise: Orange Roughie-Dave Feeney (of Tempermill Studios) recently wrapped up the band's never-before-released 2nd album - which will be on hand, at the show.
Here's VIDEO of the Junk Monkeys at their reunion -from three years ago - at PJs Lager House.
Dig through the allmusic archives and it's noted that the Metro Times gave a special shout out to Hippodrome way-back-when, in 1989.