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Rymes With Orange – Peel, and Trapped In The Machine

A Two-fer! On Spec 6 & 7: Rymes With Orange

Anybody else remember these guys? They’re a Canadian (from Vancouver, BC) rock band from the 90s, and I found their two CDs at work. I knew there was a song I knew, but I couldn’t remember what it was called, even after staring at the track lists on both albums. But man, I remembered liking that song half a lifetime ago! So I bought both because I am me (and it was a total of $3 for both).

Now, sharp-eyed Readers will say that I’ve misspelled Rhymes. Nope, it was intended that way by the band. As I was reading about them online, one of my favourite stories was about how, around the time of their beginnings, they’d joked that the missing ‘h’ in their name had been donated to the band hHead. Haha awesome, boys!

Peel (1992)

This one had two singles (Marvin, and Memory Fade – the first two cuts on the album, I preferred Memory Fade’s heavier chug), as well as a cover of the Small Faces’ Itchycoo Park. Playing through this record, neither of the two singles was the one I’d had in mind as the tune I knew. As for how it sounds… all I can say is Holy 90s, Batman! All the elements are there. The guitars sounding just so, the drummer playing the hell out of the hi-hat with that 90s bounce beat, the (sometimes) wonky poetry lyrics. There’s even the requisite acoustic ballad at the end, In My Life.

Sometimes it sounds Cult-ish, sometimes like contemporaries such as Age Of Electric or many others, and there’s something very Alan Frew by way of Perry Farrell about the vocals. Ultimately, it rocks in that pop-like way, and I’ll bet they sounded great in a live setting. Sometimes these bands just sounded better live. My favourite bits were probably the bass parts, they were excellent. And the Itchycoo Park cover was interesting. They turned its hippy jam into a song that sounded like everything else on this record, way faster and louder and with the drums playing that same beat…

Trapped In The Machine (1994)

This album had four singles (Toy Train, I Believe, She Forgot To Laugh, and The Taking Of David). And success! It had been Toy Train that I remembered liking from way back when, but couldn’t name now, in 2018. It’s funky and fun (see link below). Trust me, in 1994, this was a popular song for my group of folks! And to be fair, I honestly don’t remember any of the other singles from this album. I may have known them back then, but not now!

I found this to be a much more mature, heavier album that Peel, showing great development in the interim two years. I’ll bet touring helped a bunch. Gone (pretty much) is that bounce beat the drummer used everywhere on Peel, a broader palette serves them well. There’s more atmosphere here, and I think the production is way better. Manic Madness brought Watchmen to mind, and that’s always a happy thing. The following track, Whore, has a massive bottom end (hahahaaaaa) and rocks pretty damn hard. I also liked the title track, but there’s something about each tune on this one that is satisfying.

In Sum:

Between the two, here in 2018, I’d take Trapped In The Machine, but both were serviceable, fairly rockin’ 90s-sounding (natch) albums. If you happen across them in the shoppes, get your CanCon on!


And there’s more! They had two more albums: 1999’s Crash, and 2003’s One More Mile, neither of which I knew anything about at the time, or until I read about it for this post.

And there’s more! The Trapped In The Machine line-up of the band reunited on November 4, 2017 (for the first time in 21 years) to play a private event in Vancouver. Not only that, there’s a new album (RWO5) tentatively scheduled to be released this year!

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