Altered Perspective is our new (in theory) fortnightly feature centred around altered viewpoints. Not everyone holds the same artists dear to their heart, and what you may consider the best record ever made will be utter garbage to someone across the world. I, for example, can't stand the Arctic Monkeys, but I'll bet there's plenty of people willing to argue their god-like status.

Even in close proximity, tastes are varied: in my social circle, my tastes differ quite significantly from the majority, where musical soundtracks, classic rock, blues and pop-punk are the styles of choice.

Those splendid folk at Domino are preparing to reissue all four of the records from seminal '80s post-punks Orange Juice. Spearheading a wave of Scottish sounds unmatched since, Orange Juice, alongside acts like The Fire Engines, Josef K and Aztec Cameras, rocked the early '80s. They've gone on to influence countless acts - notably outfits like Franz Ferdinand, Hatcham Social and Belle & Sebastian - and the genre of indie-pop is partially indebted to them.

However, no one in my social circle has ever heard of them beyond casual references. Including myself - now I accept that's a massive faux pas on my part, but in order to rectify my severely-lacking musical knowledge, my fiancée, Megan Crews, and I sat down to immerse ourselves in their discography.

Larry Day: Okay let us begin. Have you ever heard of Orange Juice before?

Megan Crews: Only as something to drink with my toast in the mornings... as a band, no.

Larry: I've only heard of them in passing. I had a Domino compilation that I got free with NME that had either one of their tracks or a cover of one of their tracks on it (like 8/9 years ago maybe?) I only listened to the Franz Ferdinand track though. I think my Dad likes them.

Well anyway. Domino are reissuing all their albums. I think it's a big deal.

Let's have a listen to the first reissue - their debut record, You Can't Hide Your Love Forever.

Megan: My first thought is that he sounds a bit like Morrissey. But less Morrissey-y.

Larry: I kept thinking Jarvis Cocker, but I knew that was wrong. A cursory glance over the Wikipedia page says they're Scottish. Also, apparently, post-punk - now I know Wikipedia's not a reliable info source necessarily, but I guess enough people thought so at some point to warrant them being listed as such.

When I think of post-punk I think Joy Division and the dour grumpy, reverby moping associated with that; the grim up North, down t' mines, living in black and white, emaciated boys with funny hair etc.

Maybe my assumption of post-punk is just really naïve and narrow?

Megan: They don't sound particularly grumpy, especially not in 'Satellite City' with those trumpets tooting away!

Larry: Haha, that's a ridiculously funky hook. It reminds me of the Bowie/Jagger 'Dancing In The Street'. Or Duran Duran.

Megan: Yeah, I hear that.

Larry: For something supposedly post-punk, it's very chirpy. Maybe it's just us viewing it through a different lens. At one point Black Sabbath were the heaviest, most evillest band on Earth... now they just sound kinda camp in comparison to modern metal. Perhaps Orange Juice had a lot more bite initially, but that's worn away over time?

Megan: There are even some 'ooh la la la'-ing in one song...

Larry: Yeah on 'Upwards and Onwards', the backing vocals sound like something from Grease.

Megan: More Danny Zuko than (I can't think of an angry Danny other than) Danny Dyer.

Larry: Okay, so we agree it doesn't exactly sound like the acerbic post-punk we're used to - it's no Birthday Party, Durutti Column or Bauhaus for example - but do you like it?

Megan: It's nice. Jangling guitars and and the occasional brass section are pleasant enough listening, but I don't feel like I have been particularly missing out in not hearing their stuff until today.

Hmm... they sound like a band you might wander through at a festival, en route to buy a cocktail in a watermelon or something.

Larry: So like just pleasant background music?

Megan: That was my initial thought, but on second listening a few of the songs are standing out a bit more.

Larry: I like 'Falling and Laughing'. That's much more of the post-punk sound I link with the term 'post-punk'. It's a lot sparser, the bassline is amazing (though a bit Duran Duran-y still) and the drums echo lots.

Oh, I knew my Dad liked Orange Juice! He was in a band called Falling and Laughing.

Megan: Haha!

Larry: This was Orange Juice's debut record though. I can see why it would've been popular at the time - it's nice pop (I agree though, while it has it's moments, I'm not enamoured).

Okay go to the next album now - Rip It Up.

Megan: Haha, the intro to 'Rip It Up' is funny, like when you used to play on keyboards at school and would find the silliest setting to play 'Chopsticks' on... also sounds like water... drip drip drip...

Larry: 'Rip It Up' was their biggest ever single. It did well in the charts. Apparently it was the first Top UK hit single to use the Roland TB - which went on to be popular in dance and grunge and acid house. Big technological advancement.

Megan: Oops, sorry Orange Juice...

Larry: There's a lot more Morrissey-ness on this album. All the lyrics are kinda self-deprecating and violent and darkly funny. Strange though, as they preceded The Smiths. Perhaps Morrissey owes a lot to Orange Juice?

Megan: 'Flesh Of My Flesh' intro beat sounds a bit like 'Come On Eileen'.

Larry: Oh god, it does.

Megan: I can't unhear it.

Larry: I much prefer this record to the first one. 'Turn Away' has great guitars and is suitable growly. It's still poppy but it's less bland. It's like an Innocent smoothie rather than Tesco Value OJ. There's good lyrics too: "You can never understand/ and you won't let me touch your hand/ and if you punch me in the eye/ it's always you that starts to cry."

Megan: I didn't expect them to be this funky.

Larry: No I didn't, they are super funky, and kinda soulful too. The singer - Edwyn Collins - sounds like Christina Aguilera on 'Mud In The Eye'. He's got a good voice, great range.

Megan: Edwyn Collins is such a hipster name...

Larry: I think it sounds like a WWI officer's name. It's very regal...

Anyway - some tracks, like 'A Million Pleading Faces' and 'Hokoyo' have a different vocalist. I think it's someone called Zeke Manyika, who's their drummer.

Megan: His voice sounds a lot more like what you would expect with the funk/jazz instruments. but that's not to say that Collins' voice isn't a good match.

Larry: They use Afrobeat I think, alongside the funk and post-punk.

Megan: If you heard Collins' voice by itself I don't know if you'd necessarily match it with his style of music.

Larry: I think that's kinda good though, it's a nice juxtaposition that makes them sound more original... haha, I just noticed they have a song called 'Breakfast Time'... Orange Juice have a song called 'Breakfast Time'...

Megan: Haha, I enjoyed that!

Larry: It's a total reggae song.

Anyway, let's move onto Texas Fever.

Megan: There's not many songs?

Larry: It's a mini-album. I just noticed the release dates of their albums two in 1982 and two in 1984. Can you imagine any artist around now with that kind of work rate?

Megan: Definitely not with two albums in one year! There's quite a difference between the first two as well. Some bands take a lot longer to have that much of a change in their sound.

Larry: I think things evolved differently back then. It's like the Galapagos Islands (bear with me...) with that kind of bird? It lives on the one Island, but on the different sides of the island, and they've evolved to adapt to different food sources. So like one has a different shaped beak for eating different foods and so on, but then with the advent of humans introducing other plants and tourists dropping food, and they've reverted back to one homogeneous species (or are starting to).

I think it's the same for music: so like in the '80s, without the Internet, genres and subcultures grew and evolved at different rates, even in the same city. That's why stuff like Madchester could come about. But now, with the Internet, people evolve more slowly and more consciously of other stuff around them. Where Orange Juice leapt from genre to genre and style to style, you wouldn't get that now.

If that makes ANY sense whatsoever.

Megan: Haha, very insightful...

Larry: So what did you think of Texas Fever?

Megan: I feel like I might have heard 'Craziest Feeling' before. It's also definitely one of my favourite tracks so far.

Larry: It's got a great bass riff, and the squeaky guitars aren't half bad. It's less gimmicky than the rest seem - it's not relying on an interesting stylistic shift to be good, it's actually just pretty good. I could see this coming out now and being a pretty big hit.

Y'know, except his Monster Mash impression at the end. He sounds like the Big Bopper, or Lurch.

I like 'A Sad Lament'. That's my favourite track I've heard so far.

Megan: Yeah, I like that one too.

Larry: So let's move onto the final album, The Orange Juice.

Megan: The brass is back.

Larry: Ouch - they used to dedicate 'I Guess I'm Just A Little Too Sensitive' to Morrissey apparently. What catty bitches. I assume it was done in mockery, but it might've been sincere I suppose.

Megan: I like 'Salmon Fishing In New York', it's a bit more pacey.

Larry: Wasn't that a film with Ewan McGregor?

Megan: No.

Larry: It sounds like the boss music on Sonic. Or even a bit like The Cure's 'Lovecats', if only vaguely.

Megan: I think four albums in one go is a tough introduction to Orange Juice. I like the differences album to album, but don't think any of them will end up on repeat.

Larry: Yeah it's quite an intensive crash course.

But there's still good stuff to be seen: this final album's definitely the most mature, well-rounded, but I think I prefer Texas Fever. The tracks on The Orange Juice seem to embody the post-punk they helped inspire/create. It's a lot more pensive and sardonic. It's slower, spacier and darker. Even with the brass and stuff, it's a lot more like that Joy Division sound - guitars being all shadowy, the sacred liturgical threads throughout and the booming, monolithic percussion etc.

I think the baritone fits a helluva lot better now.

Megan: Yeah I agree, feels like they're a lot more comfortable with their own sound too, and not just trying out loads of different stuff.

Larry: It seems like maybe one more album would've solidified them as icons.

I mean they're iconic as it is, but the never achieved that Cure/Smiths level of fame.

I like 'Out For The Count'. In fact, I quite like the whole thing. The guitars are really good on this record... and, I think most crucially, it doesn't sound like Duran Duran.

Megan: Haha, always a bonus!

Larry: Okay, so let's quickly wrap this up. Will you listen to Orange Juice in the future?

Megan: If I could Winger you for a second - I see the appeal, and I would never take it away from anyone. But I would also never stand in line for it.


But seriously, I probably wont go out of my way to become more acquainted with their discography

Larry: Why not?

Megan: I've enjoyed my journey through their albums, but I can't see them becoming a part of my daily listening. I can appreciate their work, and influence, but other than a couple of songs which grabbed my attention a bit more, there was nothing which made me stop and think 'wow, this is awesome'.

Larry: I guess I agree. I think I might give their final two albums a more prolonged listen though. I can see it growing on me.

Megan: Let me know if they do, and I might be persuaded to have another listen.