Orchid Tribute – Part Three, Review

Hello there, welcome back to the third and final installment of our Orchid Tribute series. Today we have a review of the 24 tracks on offer.

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First of all it’s interesting to note the track list here, it runs in pretty much chronological order. The first 4 songs are from Orchids first full length “Chaos is Me” and they appear on this release in the order that they appeared on the original, this is another one of those little touches we talked about in the first piece. This  continues throughout the release, starts with Chaos songs, then onto Dance Tonight songs, there is then 3 songs from non full length releases (these are not in chronological order as the ST 7″ and CWV split 6″ was Orchid’s first material), 36 Day Syndrome from the ST 7”, Eye Gouger from the CombatWoundedVeteran 6” split and “New Ideas in Mathematics” from the Jeromes Dream skull shaped 10”. The tribute then finishes with 11 tracks from Gatefold, which yes you’ve guessed it, are from Orchid’s final release.

Now onto the tracks!

Coma Regalia kick things off with their faithful cover of “Aesthetic Dialectic”, this is one of the more popular Orchid songs and it’s easy to see why, it’s a ferocious 2 minutes that doesn’t let up. Coma Regalia rip through this with ease, making it their own but also sticking tightly to the original, it’s an excellent way to get things started.

Full of Hell are up next, and they completely destroy (in the best way possible) “Framecode”. The vocals here are the highlight as they sound like nothing else, it’s a vicious almost death growl. Full Of Hell give their own take of “Framecode” with their darkened hardcore styling’s, this cover is top notch!

The next two songs are the last on this compilation from “Chaos Is Me” with For The Want Of covering “Death of a Modernist” and Voyage In Coma doing “Epilogue of a Car Crash”. Voyage In Coma do a really good job here. “Epilogue Of A Car Crash” is one of Orchid’s longer songs at nearly 4 minutes and Voyage recreate it very well, vocals stand out again for me here, they are less harsh than the original and have some nice little touches, this is one of my favourites on the tribute.

Kicking off the Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! section is You’ll Live with “Destination Blood”. They do a nice job of covering it in their own way with more screeched vocals but on the whole stick to the Orchid mould.

The next song is “Lights Out” and Carrion Spring take the reins. And it’s instantly recognisable with the lyrics “And you are, and you are” ringing out, again this is a very close cover to the original, and very well done.

“Anna Karina” is the next song up with I Don’t Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings covering, they rocket through the 15 second song. Pianos Bastards who are a new band featuring members of Crocus, Goodtime Boys and The Ergon Carousel then absolutely rage through “I am Nietzsche”, they add their own little touches to this fantastic song and the end result is excellent. “Victory Is Ours” is already a fast song but somehow Cassus manage to up the pace with thrilling results. You can still tell its Orchid’s song but Cassus add their own unique vocals to the chaotic maelstrom.

Lizards have Personalities take on the task of covering “Don’t Rat Out Your Friends”. They do a good job and cover the track with frantic energy and some pretty awesome dual vocals.

“…and the Cat Turned to Smoke” is the fantastic closer on Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! and at just over 5 minutes is the longest Orchid track, so who could do this song justice I hear you ask? Well, Foxes of course.  This song has always been one of the slower Orchid songs, a moment of reflection in a chaotic world but Foxes play it as a sort of post rock/post hardcore track (progressive screamo!) and add an extra minute to it. Screamed, emotional vocals are still there with a haunting talked backing vocal that ends the track with “I’m sorry about it all”. This is fucking great! A fantastic cover of a very good song, one of the best.

We now have the 3 songs from splits and 7”’s in the middle of the tribute, Deer In The Headlights tackle “36 Day Syndrome”. I’d not heard Deer before this compilation and they impress here. It’s always interesting hearing a female take on the vocal part that was originally done by a male, and here the result is something to behold. They also put a more hardcore touch on this track and its one of the more memorable covers.

The fantastic Republic Of Dreams cover “Eye Gouger”. This is an interesting one, it’s an early song from Orchid, when they were even more harsh and chaotic. This makes it perfect for Republic! They crash bang and wallop through 52 seconds of Orchid goodness.

So far most of the covers have been faithful re-creations of the original, Questionable Youth change that with their cover of “New Ideas in Mathematics”. It’s completely different from the start, with an electronic/industrial intro and it doesn’t stop there, this electro stays with the song throughout, but more in the background. Half way through and this track takes a Mars Volta twist until the very end, some guitar fiddling, stops and starts, it’s quite progressive. Questionable Youth add a minute to this song, and you know what? It works, you can hardly tell it’s an Orchid song anymore and I’m glad someone took a leap and did it, excellent.

Now on to the final stretch, the remaining 10 covers are from my personal favourite Orchid record, Gatefold (self titled).

Lord Snow are first up and take on the first track from Gatefold, “Amherst Pandemonium Part I”. It starts and ends with the same sample as the original, Lord Snow play this song in much the same way but it sounds a little slower and more neat to me.

The second part of “Amherst Pandemonium” is up next and Adobe Homes do the honours. They add their own sound to this track without diverting to far from the path, I guess it’s hard to change such a short song to make it your own, they do a good job covering this.

Chicago’s Itto cover “Loft Party” next. The start of this song and the lyrics are what makes it stand out, and Itto stick to these vocals, although they are a bit less harsh than the original. The guitar tone is different as well which makes a nice little change. ¡Silencio, Ahora, Silencio! rip through “A Visit From Dr Goodsex”. The immortal lyrics “GOD DAMN GOD DAMN, GOD DAMN” ring out as true as ever.

This next one is interesting, History of the Hawk have sadly split up since they recorded “Class Pictures” for this tribute. I’m glad they managed to do this before though. The thing about this is hearing the classic lyrics  ,“You’re charitable objectivity doesn’t exist” in an English accent having being so used to hearing the Orchid version. I like this a lot and the song ends in typical fashion, chaos.

Utarid re-formed to record “Anals nin by Numbers” specifically for this tribute, the power and legend of Orchid seemingly knows no bounds! They do an excellent job on this cover, they put across the anger and passion of the original whilst mixing up ever so slightly to make it not an identical copy.

“Tigers” is one of my favourite Orchid songs and here Todos Caerán take up the enviable task of covering it. It starts with the opening short blast before turning into the slow brooding riff that we all know and love. The memorable lyrics are of course there, “Who let the tigers out, to kill all the lovers”. The cover ends with 30 seconds of almost feedback which merges in with the next track from Mahria. I like the way this is done, they were both recorded and mastered together and it’s a cool little touch. “Let’s Commodify Sexuality” is the song Mahria cover and is a discordant take on the original.

Innards romp through the 35 second “Discourse of Desire” and before you know it we’re onto the last song of this tribute. What song and band could fittingly end such a detailed and excellent tribute? Well that duty falls to Sed Non Satiata  and the song is my personal favourite, “None More Black”.. Sed Non Satiata do a bloody fantastic cover of “None More Black” here, it sounds quite different from the original but keeps the main components, they sort of draw out the first 2 minutes in an imaginative way before of course getting to THAT riff! Wonderful!

It all ends with Sed Non Satiata’s version of “Impersonating Martin Rev” which is an electro driven 1 minute 30 something fantasy ride, it’s a good way to end this tribute.

There’s a good mix of faithful covers and re-workings here to keep everyone happy. My personal favourites are the Full Of Hell, Voyage In Coma and Sed Non Satiata covers, but I bet that you could ask 100 different people and they’d all choose 3 different songs.

So what we have here is 24 bands from all over the world covering 24 (25 really) songs from one single band, Orchid. I couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute than today’s school of hardcore and screamo bands giving their take on Orchid’s massively influential music.

So that brings it to an end, the only thing to do now is head over to Dog Knights Productions tomorrow and pre-order the LP!

Thanks for reading.

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