About The Orwells
Illinois rock group the Orwells played a rowdy brand of indie rock inspired by bands like the Replacements and Black Lips. Their energetic live shows and punchy songs caught on and the band were soon making albums, debuting in 2012 with Remember When. By the time of 2017's Terrible Human Beings, they'd cleaned up their sound and added a tiny bit of maturity to their lyrics.
The band formed in 2009 while they were attending high school in Elmhurst, Illinois. Cousins Mario Cuomo (vocals) and Dominic Corso (guitar) teamed up with brothers Grant (bass) and Henry Brinner (drums), alongside their friend Matt O'Keefe (guitar), and started making music together. Along with hitting the books and skating, the Orwells started recording their raucous indie rock songs. In 2011, they signed to L.A.-based blogger Justin Gage's Autumn Tone record label after they sent him a link to one of their videos with hopes it would lead to being featured on his website. The combination of their raw youth and rasping melodies on single "Mallrats (La La La)" was picked up by bloggers and the band's debut album, Remember When, followed in 2012. They graduated high school early in 2013 and toured nonstop for the majority of the year, stopping briefly to record the Other Voices EP with TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek in the summer.
Their frenetic live performances brought interest from a host of major labels, but they eventually signed to Atlantic Records and headed to the studio with producer Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian) to work on new material. The following year they toured North America with Arctic Monkeys and made a memorable appearance on Late Show with David Letterman. Their sophomore effort, Disgraceland, was released in 2014 and reached number 69 on the Billboard album chart. The Orwells spent time touring and hanging out in their shared apartments (one of which housed an indoor skate ramp), and started working on songs for their next album. Inspired by films and books, Cuomo pushed himself to write more mature lyrics. The other bandmembers responded by cleaning up their sound and, with the help of producer Jim Abiss, added some sonic muscle to the songs. Terrible Human Beings was released by Atlantic at the beginning of 2017. The band broke up in August of 2018 in the wake of sexual misconduct accusations leveled against multiple members. Nearly a year later, Cuomo put the band's previously recorded self-titled fourth album up on streaming sites. ~ Scott Kerr