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CD REVIEW: Orphan Train feat. Aram Arslanian - Electronic_Junk

by: Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

 

Artist/Band: Orphan Train feat. Aram Arslanian

Album: Electronic_Junk
Label: Kingsley Garden Music

Website: http://www.last.fm/music/Orphan+Train/Electric+Junk

Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Alternative Rock, Punk, Indie Rock
Sounds Like: Gorillaz,  Beck, Escape Club, Cake, Todd Rundgren, David Byrne, Beach Boys, Beatles, They Might be Giants, The Flaming Lips

Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Digital Tears, Snow Day, True Love Return

Weakness:  A few short sided songs, more solo segments, no barcode, lack of liner notes

CD REVIEW:

In music, breaking rules and challenging conventional wisdom are often deliberate efforts to establish a marketing niche, but for Vancouver Washington’s Electric-Junk it’s a natural state of mind. Composer, musician producer Aram Arslanian a/k/a Orphan Train just released his latest CD entitled  Electronic_Junk in 2012.

The CD quickly takes to flight with jumpy intro piece “Micks Set Ashore.” This song serves up infectious rocked out musical ambience against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic guitar, harmonies and driving rock rhythm that gently leads you by the hand down the path of trippy musical indulgence. Track 2 “Fall From Grace” shifts gears a bit with its methodical intro, trippy alternative rock vibe and infectious vocals from Arslanian. Track 3 “Love She Blooms” is an impressive surf-rock piece that is full of musical peaks and valleys, impressive organ that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. By track 4 this CD hits solid stride delivering many impressive songs back to back. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Gorillaz,  Beck, Escape Club, Cake, Todd Rundgren, David Byrne, however I can even hear brief flashes of The Beach Boys, The Beatles, They Might be Giants” and even The Flaming Lips. I would classify this music as trippy Singer/Songwriter, Punk, Alternative Rock with a fun and eccentric Psychedelic, Indie College Rock flair. I can also hear some dub-experimental music with classic remnants of Dub, and Alternative Rock. The CD at times presents brilliant peak and valley flow via a strong artistic perspective. Besides the four piece standard you will also notice rich layers of organ, melodic soundscapes, sporadic percussion, rhythm guitar, organ, solo guitar, lush harmonies, keyboards, organs, low end beats, sonic vocals, exotic sound effects and enticing melodies - all built on a thick as a brick rhythmic foundation. Arslanian showcases impressive yet zany singing and songwriting skills throughout. His musicianship and compositions are pretty solid across the board as Arslanian is clearly letting it all hang out in a fun way with this release. All production aspects check out. CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. Arslanian has an effective baritone and all harmonies are effective and well placed. At times his voice reminds me a bit of Edward Kowalczyk (Live). From psychedelic “Digital Tears” to uplifting Snow Day” to heartfelt “Be My Blue” to rocking “Fixer Upper” and True Love return” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 11 “Be in y Dreams” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.  

Track 2 and 9 feel like an incomplete statements to me. I wish there were more solo segments throughout the catalog, especially on guitar. There’s no barcode anywhere on the package indicating to me a retail non-compatibility. There are no real liner notes anywhere on the package that would indicate more information about the production as a whole. There are even a few sporadic liner notes on the front of the CD which is a bit unorthodox. 

Orphan Train (feat. Aram Arslanian) latest CD entitled Electronic_Junk is a zany, fun, compelling musical journey. This DIY composer, producer, musician is making waves for themselves for a reason. Its strong suit is its amazing producers touch and song for song musical flow. Arslanian gets high marks from me for delivering a zany, carefree vibe - nice touch. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing trippy musical experience to fill their atmosphere. This straight forward, easy to digest musical format makes for a great musical experience many will enjoy. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you via the Orphan Train.

Cyrus Rhodes