Spain Colored Orange – Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way EP

Spain Colored Orange
Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way EP

Grant me this disclaimer: no review (written or oral) can adequately describe the explosion of energy and passion on the latest EP by Spain Colored Orange. Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way is a phenomenal collection of magnetic, multi-instrumental, majestically mashed-up Latin jazz, bar pop, and psychedelic bedroom balladry. Over its 33 minutes, the EP stimulates the feet, fingers, and feelings of listeners with remarkable shifts in style and tone that never sound overdone.

The sextet’s most recent record opens with a manipulated sample of carnival sounds on the appropriately titled “Momentary Drama.” Soon, a subdued trumpet and light rhythms give way to rocking guitar lines and appealing vocals by Gilbert Alfaro. At some point, the song’s progression changes, and it seems like a catchier, more sophisticated cousin of Maroon 5’s “This Love.” On “Maybe it’s True,” the band proceeds quietly with Eric Jackson’s classy trumpet, and Randy Platt’s guitar blends with Justin Peak’s late-60s keyboards to create an affecting introduction similar to that on The Beatles’ “Let it Be.” Alfaro’s singing is the ideal vocal embodiment of the instrumental emotions around him. Toward its end, “Maybe it’s True” soars like few songs have in the last 25 years.

The band’s perfectly timed trumpet and organ combination dominates breezy pop confections like “Let it Go” and the bluesy “Remember One Thing.” On the frantic “Persistent Intermission,” the rhythm section of James Diederich and Steven Burnett naturally sets the R&B mood with the same precision demonstrated on “Remember One Thing.” With keyboards reminiscent of The Zombies and sporadic grungy guitar bursts, “Will You Catch On” seems like the work of a musically inclined mad genius. Alfaro’s altered, spacey vocals add to the song’s mystery.

The EP closes with the chilled out, jazzy “I Kid You Not.” Looping synthesizers and mellow beats augment Jackson’s slinky trumpet. In addition to various band members harmonizing with “pa-da pa-da” vocal contributions, bleeps and echoed keyboards give “I Kid You Not” a funky sound that recalls the late 70s/early 80s. Latin rock elements kick in most intensely near the end of the song, and the EP comes to a sudden, satisfying conclusion.

Spanish Colored Orange has crafted a brilliant EP that begs to be heard live. I hope the band gigs in the east soon, and I dare you to resist the joie de vivre expressed throughout Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way.