Spain Colored Orange
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Spain Colored Orange

Band Rock Jazz


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Badresa Review by Mark Oster"

Adding a "traditional" instrument to your rock band is always somewhat of a roll of the dice. It can add a dimension of sound that sets you apart from your contemporaries, or it can stick out like a sore thumb. Fortunately for Spain Colored Orange, the former is very clearly the case with the debut EP from the Houston sextet. At their core, they are a Beatlesque pop band, not unlike their fellow statesmen Spoon, but they are far more complex and dynamic than their better known peers. Along with their tremendously skilled trumpet player, they bring a Fender Rhodes to the mix with the traditional drums, bass, and guitar and the quite Lennon sounding frontman, occasionally using a piano or digital samples for good measure. The result is surprisingly fresh, at times jazzy, at times spacey, at times slightly Spanish sounding (a well chosen band name), incredibly dynamic, and very catchy. It's quite impressive for a band that very much wears its primary influence on it's sleeve (the second track, "Maybe It's True", borrows very generously from the opening of "Let It Be") to be able to cut out a sound that is so distinctly theirs. But that's just what Spain Colored Orange does, with so many weapons in their arsenal, the variety, depth, and warmth of their textures and interwoven melodies allow their songs to remain fresh with the listener throughout their entirety (up to 7 minutes). A tremendous pop group with a, dare I say, groundbreaking sound, I look forward to hearing more. -

"DOA review by Sahar Oz"

Grant me this disclaimer: no review (written or oral) can adequately describe the explosion of energy and passion on the latest EP by Spain Colored Orange. Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way is a phenomenal collection of magnetic, multi-instrumental, majestically mashed-up Latin jazz, bar pop, and psychedelic bedroom balladry. Over its 33 minutes, the EP stimulates the feet, fingers, and feelings of listeners with remarkable shifts in style and tone that never sound overdone.

The sextet's most recent record opens with a manipulated sample of carnival sounds on the appropriately titled "Momentary Drama." Soon, a subdued trumpet and light rhythms give way to rocking guitar lines and appealing vocals by Gilbert Alfaro. At some point, the song's progression changes, and it seems like a catchier, more sophisticated cousin of Maroon 5's "This Love." On "Maybe it's True," the band proceeds quietly with Eric Jackson's classy trumpet, and Randy Platt's guitar blends with Justin Peak's late-60s keyboards to create an affecting introduction similar to that on The Beatles' "Let it Be." Alfaro's singing is the ideal vocal embodiment of the instrumental emotions around him. Toward its end, "Maybe it's True" soars like few songs have in the last 25 years.

The band's perfectly timed trumpet and organ combination dominates breezy pop confections like "Let it Go" and the bluesy "Remember One Thing." On the frantic "Persistent Intermission," the rhythm section of James Diederich and Steven Burnett naturally sets the R&B mood with the same precision demonstrated on "Remember One Thing." With keyboards reminiscent of The Zombies and sporadic grungy guitar bursts, "Will You Catch On" seems like the work of a musically inclined mad genius. Alfaro's altered, spacey vocals add to the song's mystery.

The EP closes with the chilled out, jazzy "I Kid You Not." Looping synthesizers and mellow beats augment Jackson's slinky trumpet. In addition to various band members harmonizing with "pa-da pa-da" vocal contributions, bleeps and echoed keyboards give "I Kid You Not" a funky sound that recalls the late 70s/early 80s. Latin rock elements kick in most intensely near the end of the song, and the EP comes to a sudden, satisfying conclusion.

Spanish Colored Orange has crafted a brilliant EP that begs to be heard live. I hope the band gigs in the east soon, and I dare you to resist the joie de vivre expressed throughout Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way.


"Urban Pollution Review by Bryan Parker"

Houstons Spain Colored Orange released their debut EP, Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way late last year on Lucid Records and have been garnering more and more recognition and acclaim with each passing month. The band draws influences and comparisons that range from ELO to Pink Floyd to any number of bands of the Elephant Six Collective. The five-piece crafts wonderfully quirky pop songs and makes good use of an overwhelming amount of brass.

As the opening sounds come through the stereo, it could just as easily be sound escaping the rusted speakers above the entryway to a broken county carnival. The twinkling circus keys are laid beneath a female voice prattling on about a beacon of green light and other visual wonders. It winds down like a record player being switched off and the song breaks out in full effect, falling somewhere between Os Mutantes and The Doors with their trademark brass blaring. Electronic noise comes and goes; the organs yawp in syncopation; and the slightly Spanish horns confidently lead the mix. Perhaps the greatest thing about the brass is that its not full on latin, far from ska or big band, and much different from the soft backing brass of typical trend or the long carried out notes used in Elephant Six climaxes. Its past the minute and a half mark when Gilbert Alfaros voice enters the mix; it isnt unusual or winning, but fits well.

The opening five minute roller-coaster of Momentary Drama isnt even the second longest song on the record, and its obvious that the band have no concern to conform to some expectation of indie rock. They follow that powerhouse with Maybe Its True, a slow and drawn out number with synth-stings in addition to the brass. Alfaros vocals sound strangely like Elliott Smith, but feel a little calculated here and the song ends up being a little long and repetitive at the end of its almost seven minutes.

A series of shorter and perhaps more accessible psych pop songs follow. The first, Let It Go, comes in with the bands typical, choppy four-four keys and a jazzy rhythm on the hi-hat. At two minutes in the distorted guitars give way to atmospheric and reverb saturated vocals and sparse guitar notes. At the end of the track, the band picks it back up and best shows off the dynamics of which they are capable. This track rolls into Remember One Thing, where the band has a bit of a problem differentiating much from the previous track, not to mention theyre the exact same length. Its easy to write it off, although not necessarily deserved.

Persistent Intermission serves as track five and is full of choppy distorted electric guitars. By this point, you will have decided if they love or hate the brass as well as the bands incessant approach, which does tend to blur the songs without careful listening. We get our first real break with Will You Catch On and its more understated instrumentation and lounge-like rhythm. The brass however doesnt let up and this might be the most glaring misuse of it. The song gets progressively more psychedelic and is likely to be fans least favorite, but will probably pique critics interest as white noise and distortion swell among eerie vocals and keys and a whining guitar.

I Kid You Not closes out the album, beginning with funky, wah-wah guitar and electic piano. These parts of the song wouldnt sound out of place on a record by French funk-lite, dance-popsters Phoenix. SCO adds their own flavor with more abrasive and powerful choruses with brass. The clinking cymbal and handclap interlude three-fourths through the song is a great touch before the band finishes it off the way they do best: loudly, with squealing guitars, pounding drums, organ, and a ton of brass.

What is certain about Spain Colored Oranges debut EP is that it will elicit a reaction from any listener. The band deserves credit just for sailing so far outside of safe waters. Their full on rock of horns and rollicking keys and guitars is sure to have indie music fans addictively returning to the record or avoiding it at all costs. As for improving upon a good thing, the five members will have to work to prove they arent just using a formula and rocking out. Theyve got a unique and powerful sound, full of promise that they should learn how to harness and meld into unique songs, perhaps forgoing the all-at-once instrumentation in order to make songs and their parts more distinct. A great indicator of the bands talent and direction will be a full-length that the curious will anxious await.
- Urban Pollution

"Houston Press Review by Travis Ritter"

We're starting to yawn at retro acts like Jet and the Strokes. Sure, they're all the buzz, but they're really just saturating the music scene with derivative, carbon-copy songs from yesteryear. Thankfully, a few acts, like Houston's Spain Colored Orange, create something new out of the old and take it to new levels. The six-piece lineup seamlessly crafts shiny pop gems with a kaleidoscope of pristine arrangements that make you long for the days of big collars and big music. "Our sound definitely has a '70s rock influence, but it's still more of a modern sound," says Gilbert Alfaro, Spain's lead singer and electric piano player. The band fuses strong melodies and interposes trumpet, synth, strings, tambourines, maracas and hand-claps to create a rich, deep sound that -- like the best '70s tunes -- is too good to resist. "I've always wanted a big orchestrated band," says Alfaro. "I love the texture and the sounds."

Audiences love it, too. The band recently enjoyed packed shows at Numbers and the Houston Press Music Awards Showcase. And it wasn't your typical young hipster crowd, either. "We have both older people and underage kids just digging the stuff," says Alfaro. With the release of their new EP, Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way, it could be just a matter of time before the rest of the country is seeing Orange.
- Houston Press


"Sneaky Like A Villain" (in production), summer 2007

"Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way" EP, 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Yes, it's true......

We have been really busy working on the new album with producer Bill Racine(Mates Of State, Rogue Wave, Flaming Lips, Mogwai, Whirlwind Heat, Sparklehorse) & Steve Christensen at Sugar Hill Studios. We should be done soon (after a trip to NY to put some finishing touches).

The album will be called, "Sneaky Like A Villain" and will consist of 12 new tracks.
2007 is going to be a busy year for us!

Winner of four 2006 Houston Press Music Awards, including "Album of the Year", Spain Colored Orange is the most nationally prominent indie band in Houston right now. In fact, their 2006 e.p. "Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way" is in heavy rotation at many radio stations from coast to coast. Having just completed a summer tour of the West coast and Midwest, SCO will return to the studio next month to record their first full length release on Lucid Records. With the help of producer Bill Racine (whose credits include Sparklehorse, Flaming Lips, Rogue Wave and Mates of State) SCO could be the next big act to break out of the Houston music scene.