Robert Ellis Orrall Displays Versatile Musicianship on’467 Surf And Gun Club’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Robert Ellis Orrall’s latest record – and first in almost a decade – draws its origins from his own Infinity Cat Recordings, the quirky, solidly impressive Nashville-based indie label that has been a home to everyone from JEFF The Brotherhood to Diarrhea Planet.  

Named (partially) after the label’s old home at 467 Humphrey Street (the structure has since been demolished), 467 Surf And Gun Club pays homage in parts to the old office hangout with the song “Here In Our Backyard.” The music throughout the record has the same vibe as Andrew Gold, Brian Wilson or latter career Elvis Costello, confident, comfortable and relaxed with nothing to prove and ultimately satisfying from start to finish.

Along with being a popular artist in his own right, Orrall has written for Reba McEntire, written and produced for Taylor Swift and produced Be Your Own Pet. It’s the range of Orrall’s experience, from country to top 40 pop to punk that makes him such an impressively versatile musician; And you can see 467 Surf And Gun Club appealing to fans of all three genres.

From the outright joy of a song like “Sunshine” or the aforementioned “Here In Our Backyard” to the sadness and longing in a song about a bartender’s unrequited love in “Wish About Her,” the album manages to be both emotionally complex while also being remarkably accessible and a breeze to get into. Even a track like “Iceberg,” an upbeat pop love song about simply wanting to be anywhere with the person you love, is surprisingly gratifying. 

One of the best moments though is shared with the late Leon Russell on “Welcome To Paradise,” a brilliant song that includes vocals from Russell mixed into the song. The album ends on “Anthem 467,” a trippy, sound collage intro that segues into a charming piano-backed song that perfectly caps off the record. The first instinct on the closing notes of the track is to immediately to go back to the beginning and listen to the album all over again. 

Photo credit: Ricardo Fernandez

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