There's something a touch old skool about Orphan Boy, they sound very 90s at times which differentiates them from many of their contempories. For example, an Oasis styled, feedback intro brings this album to life - the perfect foundation for any rock n roll band intent on blowing the roof off with a certain boyish swagger. While Letters for Annie has just that in abundance, a haze of guitars moaning and wailing their way into your consciousness.
Popsong is a different kettle of fish all together, the Oasis swagger is out the window and in its place is a sensitive and brooding track that's closer to James than the Gallagher's.
However it's unfair to compare Orphan Boy to bands from the 90s, ultimately their sound doesn't borrow too heavily from any of that era and more occasionally nods to it than takes, while morphing with each passing track. A case in point is Anderson Shelter blues, which is as far removed from all that's come before it as it's possible to be, kick starting with a bluesy harmonica, it's a bass heavy rant that charmingly builds up slowly before exploding dramatically. It's almost impossible to work the bands direction throughout let alone pin them down.
Passion, Pain and loyalty can at times lack charisma, but it never becomes predictable. At no one point can you predict the sound that's going to come next, ranging from euphoric (Anderson shelter blues) to brooding and dark (A180 Song) it's a mish-mash of styles which is nothing but intriguing throughout.
Passion, Pain & Loyalty moves away from the plug in and play, raw energy of Orphan Boys wonderfully titled debut Shop Local. This time round the band appear to have matured in their sound, finding new ranges and depths to their music and pushing things a step forward while retaining the same anger and attitude as first time round. It doesn't always work, but when it does, the chemistry is just right.
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