Liverpool Indie-Rock favourite, Dr Orange, is back with Chinatown, his fourth collaboration with legendary Merseyside producer Jon Withnall. The track is to be released on Friday 26 February, and it does not disappoint.
The man behind Dr Orange, Chas Moody, continues to impress with this solo project. He has consistently provided the sound of a full rock band by himself with previous singles Comes in Threes, These Things (Baby I Know) and Take, and his latest effort is no different.
Chinatown is raw, authentic, and built upon the staple Dr Orange instrumentation of fuzzy guitars, groovy drums and biting, hazy vocals. As always, Dr Orange takes us on a journey through different decades of music in this track. The opening guitar is grungey and reminiscent of 90s bands such as Nirvana and Weezer. There are still elements of the indie-rock artist’s usual psychedelic influences at the same time as an anthemic, catchy chorus that is sure to go down a storm when played live. Another highlight of the track is the superb guitar solo that features in the outro.
Dr Orange describes Chinatown as “a chilled song that stayed at the bar a bit too long, had one too many measures of funk and ended up in a bit of a heavy state.” The heavy riffs and melancholic verses channel images of sitting alone in a dark nightclub, way past your bedtime and after a few too many drinks.
I couldn’t help but picture this track being played at Liverpool’s own Heebie Jeebies. It’s 4am, you are pretty gone in the head and your efforts to keep the night alive are like banging your head against those brick walls in the EBGB’s basement. For me, the whole song has vibes of the AM album by Arctic Monkeys, an album which also draws inspiration from psych-rock, blues and soul; all of which are present in Dr Orange’s repertoire.
When discussing the single, Dr Orange reveals the inspiration for this track came from characters he empathised with. With both the title of the song and the lyric “forget it, babe, it’s chinatown”, it’s hard not to make the link to the classic Jack Nicholson film of the same name and his fruitless search for answers. The famous line means looking away and giving up in the face of injustices because there is nothing we can do to change it.
I can’t help but wonder whether Dr Orange is portraying his own struggles making inroads and contending with the difficult reality of the music industry at present. And let’s hope that this isn’t the case. I predict nothing but success for this hard-working artist as soon as the world returns to normal, and with the latest announcement of the PM’s roadmap out of lockdown, better days filled with sun and great music such as this are in sight.
You can give Chinatown a spin on all major streaming platforms now.