Sunnyvale, California's the Orange Peels starts with the gateway drug of power pop and ends up hooked on psychedelics, yet never quite overdoses on the retro base that makes zombies of many latter-day addicts. Perhaps it's the echoes of a boyish Robin Zander in Allen Clapp's voice, or the loving and lingering gazes at their own shoes — or perhaps it's just the brevity of this year's 2020, a Magical Mystery Tour-esque breeze-through of pop hooks, micro-tuned harmonies and fuzzy, glinting guitars. (It's clearly not the lyrics, which often get muddled up in mixed metaphors and limerick-ready rhymes and clichés.) Ultimately, the band succeeds because of its melodies, as it should be with modern pop; the Orange Peels squeezes out every last drop of sunshine from even the simplest of tunes.
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