Orchid – [Live]

Thursday, 05 February 2009

San Francisco’s Orchid is fucking great! Orchid rocks like rock should! You need Orchid!
Here’s why: Band members Theo Mindell (vocals), Mark Baker (guitar), Keith Nickel (Bass) and Carter Kennedy (Drums) have incorporated just the right amount of quality influences and sounds to create something familiar yet brilliantly unique. Think a riding-to-a-séance-in-your-orange-GTO-coolness-circa 1972.  Black Sabbath and Boris with a little bit of ‘70’s fuzz to wrap all of that darkness in. Get the picture?
The end result of their craft is so rocking and solid, you’ll think you’ve been hearing covers of some obscure Black Sabbath B-sides that never made it to an album. Nothing is excessive, no filler…all the parts are where they need to be. I should also point out that while this may sound all Metal and heavy, it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, Orchid is heavy but they have an appeal that crosses genres. I saw them last fall when they opened up for LA’s shoegazey Darker My Love and they had the crowd eating out of their hands.       
Orchid started their Annie’s show with psych-fuzzed-moog-laden tune, “Son of Misery.” The use of the Moog is something new and works great live. It creates a whole different vibe, like a spacey, Sabbath-like, ‘70’s- B-movie thing. Yet shows how this band can just add on to something that’s already great.
Orchid continued to motor though some of their set standards like “No One Makes a Sound” and “Eyes Behind the Wall,” which is one of my favorite songs. Carter Kennedy’s drumming and Keith Nickel’s thick bass lines just make this song epic. “Eyes Behind the Wall” is a great example of the dynamics and musicianship of Orchid.
Theo Mindell’s voice really shined on tunes “Into the Sun” and “Master of It All.” His voice is an integral part of the Orchid sound and creates the dark, warm tones that signify the band’s strong and powerful presence.
Let’s not forget the heavy and powerful guitar styling of Mark Baker. The tunes “Eastern Woman” and “He Who Walks Alone” capture the groove and tone of the Orchid sound. Mark’s deep, woodsy, heavy style comes out in these songs.
Each time Orchid plays they continue to impress and surprise me with the subtle changes to their set. Orchid is a great local band that I see will have a great presence in the SF hard rock/metal scene. I can’t wait to see them again.
In speaking briefly to Keith about the studio activities, Keith mentioned that Orchid plans on finishing a self-produced debut album later this year. In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out their MySpace site to sample some of their tunes.



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