The Adorables are among the more aptly named bands in Orlando. It's not necessarily the four members themselves -- who, variously, have logged time in the hard rock outfit Aguklim, the retro Brit-pop Real Love Diplomats and the short-lived Christian metal band Electric Warfare (more on this one later) -- though all are outgoing and overly gracious.
It's the music, the warm, rich, power-pop that sticks in your head and clings to your bones that is truly endearing. It's thought-provoking, yet subtle, with abstract lyrics embedded beneath major-chord, four-four-yet-not-utterly-predictable pop.
It is ... adorable. Doubly so with the presence of Amy Mullins, the band's very talented bass player, backing singer and co-founder. Mullins' harmonies perfectly accentuate frontman Brian Hunt's baritone, adding a Pixie-esque dimension to a band that otherwise draws on, in Hunt's words, "wimp-ass Brit pop," plus the Afghan Whigs, Placebo and maybe a hint of Fountains of Wayne.
In Hunt's small, cluttered apartment, and between insisting that we listen to the latest Peter Gabriel record and/or the new Radiohead album and/or his band's newest recording (he opted for the latter), Hunt recalls The Adorables' beginnings.
Hunt felt his prior band, Real Love Diplomats, wasn't progressing. They weren't touring, they weren't writing and they were playing the same haunts they'd played for the last four years. So he began storing the ideas that would become his new songs and working with Mullins, whom he met while the two worked at Virgin Megastore.
"The main thing is she had a great voice," Hunt says.
Mullins, a bassist who deftly alternates between fingers and picks, talks, with some prodding, about her days as a Christian metalhead: "They kicked me out 'cause I'm a lesbian," she volunteers.
Soon after the pair began writing, RLD gave Hunt the boot. To this day, he says he's not sure why. Figuring it kismet, he called Mullins, and the two began preparing their lo-fi bedroom recording with programmed drums.
Though functional, those demos don't hold a candle to either the new recordings or the band's live show, thanks primarily to the addition of drummer Naz Irani and guitarist Matias Jorquera, both Aguklim alumni and excellent players in their own right who joined the band in recent months. Irani's knack for playing around standard rock beats, and Jorquera's evocative use of guitar swells and octave slides lend a new, Placebo-ish edge to Hunt and Mullins' writing. In contrast to Hunt's straightforward amp-and-single-distortion-pedal approach, Jorquera adds a tasteful layer of effects -- delays, tremolo -- that operate effectively on top of the band's rhythm section.
"I really wanted it to be someone who had their own sound and ideas, rather than someone who would rather be told what to play," says Hunt. "He comes up with ideas that I would never think of. `That` is my favorite thing about him, musically."
Jorquera is the band's newest addition, and will be debuting with the band on Aug. 16 at the Trapper Keeper, itself a freshman venue located behind a Cherry Street tattoo parlor that features all-ages shows and serves up peanut butter sandwiches instead of beer. Which is kind of adorable.