You know the kind of song that makes you feel uneasy, but excited? Maybe you felt it the first time you heard The Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog” or The Pixies “Monkey Gone To Heaven” -- creepy yet catchy songs that are ominous and playful at the same time. It’s a category that now welcomes The Orwells’ raucous third album, Terrible Human Beings, the Chicago band’s most dynamic and engrossing collection to date.
Recorded over the course of a month at Chicago’s Electrical Audio, Terrible Human Beings was produced by Jim Abiss, with whom The Orwells had worked on a couple of Disgraceland’s best tunes. “Jim would often times come up with a little something out of leftfield that just made the whole song,” says Corso. “And I don’t think the songs would be as full of energy and grit if it wasn’t for him.” Crafty touches like the backing vocals Corso and O’Keefe contribute throughout the album, or the kraut-rock freak-out at the end of “Double Feature,” augment songs that are otherwise deceptively simple. “The Pixies were an obsession when we were writing this album,” says O’Keefe, talking about the song “Black Francis,” but also Terrible Human Beings, in general. “I think that’s where a lot of trying to make the songs and the guitar parts very simple was coming from, because the Pixies are kings of that. We’ve always been a simple band, but this time it was about trying to keep everything straightforward, nothing flashy.”