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The Orwells young in age, mature in sound

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Pop-punk band The Orwells is scheduled to play at The Basement Oct. 30. Credit: Courtesy of Jory Lee Cordy

Pop-punk band The Orwells is scheduled to play at The Basement Oct. 30.
Credit: Courtesy of Jory Lee Cordy

There is something primal and basic about The Orwells, and it is these characteristics that have garnered them such a strong — and youthful — fanbase.

“I guess young kids just know what’s good,” said lead singer Mario Cuomo, in regards to the members’ ages and the youthful following the band has.

The Orwells, a garage-inflected pop-punk band from the Chicago area, is comprised largely of 18- and 19-year-olds. Cuomo, 20, is the sole member to have outgrown his teenage years.

They are set to arrive Wednesday to play The Basement, located at 391 Neil Ave. Doors are scheduled to open at 7 p.m.

The relative success of this band comes from the amount of time its members have spent together. All of the members have been playing music to some degree since middle school, and the group took on the name The Orwells when they were playing together.

“Two of us are cousins and two of us are twin brothers. We all just kind of met up in middle school,” Cuomo said. “We didn’t start making songs as The Orwells until high school.”

The relationships between the members made the band happen organically. Guitarist Dominic Corso is Cuomo’s cousin. Meanwhile, bassist Grant Brinner and drummer Henry Brinner are twin brothers. That leaves just guitarist Matt O’Keefe as the member without a blood relation in the band.

Cuomo said the band sought after a basic sound comprised of simple musicality.

“It’s the easiest. I’m not a super-skilled vocalist,” Cuomo said. “We’re not like metal guitarists, like super technical.”

The band’s style may be attributed to a major idol of the band Cuomo mentioned, the Black Lips. Aspects of the Atlanta-based garage-rock band’s sound has tucked into that of The Orwells; after all, a song on The Orwells’ September EP “Who Needs You” is named “Salvation is a Parking Lot (A Black Lips Rip-Off).”

Spoonful Records owner Brett Ruland said the Black Lips fit as an accurate influence for The Orwells.

“(The Black Lips’ sound is) kind of dirty, garagey, sometimes sloppy but really fun. It’s sorta rooted in that old garage and soul sound. They’re definitely having a good time,” Ruland said. “It’s not like boring, or music that makes you think necessarily.”

Spoonful Records is located at 116 E. Long Street, about two and a half miles from campus.

A fan of The Orwells and a Spring 2013 Ohio State graduate in geology, Wayne Malangone, feels about The Orwells as Ruland feels about one of its major influences.

“They’re a catchy, energetic, really young punk band. I just love the hooks,” Malangone said. “Their sound is also pretty raw, too. It’s not as clean as what I hear in most punk bands nowadays.”

Fans have responded well to their tour, Cuomo said.

“We have yet to get booed or stuff like that. Everybody’s usually pretty into it. So things are going good,” Cuomo said.

Doors are scheduled to open at 7 p.m. Goners and Dead is Dead set to open. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the show.

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