Safety Orange – State of Where I am
2.) Fight Gravity
3.) State of Where I Am
4.) World We Live In
5.) Wake Up
6.) Just Like Heave
7.) Shopping Mall Life
8.) Worlds of the Wise
9.) Where We Can Go
10.) Hotel Whatever You Like
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: June 20th, 2013
Record Label: Wabasa Records
Website: Safety Orange Website
Fun loving, surfer bros, Sol Turpin and Greg Karlo, started Safety Orange 20 years ago, in 1993. Since that time the band had only released two studio albums, but is back with their first release in 8 years, State of Where I Am. Vocals, guitar, and bass were recorded at their home studio of Wabasa Records, while drums took place at Lucid Sound Studios, and Signature Sounds. Hailing from the beaches of San Diego, California, Safety Orange has opened for artists Blink 182, Slightly Stoopid, Common Sense, Ween, The English Beat, and Lita Ford w/Gary Hoeyy. They like throwing a mix of rock, reggae, and hip hop covers in with their original music, and if you listen, there’s a nice surprise on State of Where I Am.
Eight years after the release of their last album Troll Rock High, the San Diego surfing natives, Safety Orange are back with a loud, punk/reggae infused sound that is State of Where I Am. With a band name deriving from a fluorescent surfboard, these guys truly put their personality into their music.
The first song “Radio” takes on an alternative based intro and hook with a Safety Orange stylized sound. Keeping a similar approach the second song “Fight Gravity” hits more like a punk track that holds me in with engaging lyrics and up-tempo verses. I’m not a huge fan of the chorus as much, but it definitely reminds me of something out of the late 90s.
Track three, “State of Where I Am” is nice with a catchy hook, a smooth hip-hop sounding drum beat, and lyrics literally describing where the band is at today. Through their years of touring, recording, and playing music, this song sums up the good and bad of what they have gone through, and where their roots lie.
The middle of the album gets a mixed review, as track four “World We Live In” dives way more into a reggae sound, which doesn’t agree as well as SO’s punk/alternative treatments. Track six, “Just Like Heaven” is a cover of The Cure’s 1987 release off the album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. Even though it’s a cover, Safety Orange is able to put their own reggae/alternative infusion, which is where they seem to work the best.
With some ups and a few downs, State of Where I Am finishes strong with the last two songs “Where We Can Go” and “Hotel Whatever You Like”. Let me start with the former, as it brings a little electronic feel, and some alternative lyrics giving me another justification that these guys are at their best mixing between genres. If you like classic rock and southern hip-hop then this one will be right up your alley. Covering a mix between T.I’s “Whatever You Like” and The Eagles classic “Hotel California”. Personally, I love this! With their own spin on both tunes, and no rapping, this is a song every reggae, rock, and hip-hop fan will want to here.
With a very creative approach at times, Safety Orange gets a two-thumbs up at times, so it’s a shame that there were a few rough spots, but we’ll give ‘em a break because its been eight years since their last release.
Written & Reviewed By: Andrew McClatchy
[Editor’s Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]