2 a.m. Orchestra is a shapeshifting project in more ways than one. Not only are the band members a rotating cast of sorts but they shed and take on styles easily on their album Working to Divide. It isn’t so much a genre shifting album but style-shifting within their alternative rock sound.
The album begins with its best song, “Heads and Tails” that is a ferocious opener that will make you want to restart the record before ever finishing it. After a couple of shots of melodic guitar rock to start the album with “Heads and Tails” and “Ain’t Got The Fight” they settle into a smooth piano laden Grandaddy-type number with “Believe In Me.” They meander into Weezer territory with “Have It Your Way,” Jack Johnson land on “Living Longer” and even break in some strings on “Fire Escape.” The album is a blender of influences shining through the songs and whatever influence is strongest at the moment pulls the song its way without ever wandering too far from home.
2 a.m. Orchestra is at its best with Nada Surf power pop like the lead single “Heads and Tails” and “Karmic Wealth.” Despite all of the references, their music doesn’t sound enough like any of these bands to be distracting; it makes the record an interesting listen. The thing that will keep your interest on Working to Divide isn’t the album as a whole, it is songs that stand on their own and you will find that that alone makes it worth a listen.
Key Tracks: “Heads and Tails” “Ain’t Got The Fight”