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Time Of Orchids - Namesake Caution  CD (album) cover


Time Of Orchids


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5 stars Think Kayo Dot and Beach Boys mixed somehow, which would end up with something sounding like 5UU's possibly, but more acoustic. This has got to be the strangest album I've heard this entire year. Jarring dissonance and beautiful melodies at the same time, it's a sonic masterpiece, and it blows my mind that this band could have created it, after the rather mediocre album, Sarcasm While. Something genuine and often nightmarish, they really have something brand new here, and it works astonishingly. If you're interested in a great (first of its type?) RIO pop album, check this out immediately.
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Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a truly fantastic album. It took me a while to get into it, but after a while the complex rhythm structures and the great melodies all become clear and certainly very catchy. The album captures many different moods within a short matter of time and esculates as the album gradually goes on. The song writing is finominal and very complex that it shocks me that this band has had little popularity within the music world (well thats progressive experimental music for you sadly) . If you are looking for something complex, that you can listen to for a long time and not get tired of it, then this album is the one! WELL DONE TIME OF ORCHIDS!
Report this review (#175914)
Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Multi-layered complexity wrought with astounding virtuosity--fans of Maudlin of the Well or Kayo Dot will not be disappointed. This release is more technical and more challenging to the ear than either of the aforementioned acts and much less metal-oriented. Also, probably a bit more vocal-oriented, though this never amounts to anything approaching overpowering. Surprisingly catchy sounds emerge from the chaos here. This is also a record with immense replay value.

It's odd for me to write such a rave review without bothering to listen to the Time of Orchids albums preceding this one, but I don't see how any of said albums could mark a better starting point than this. It's very nearly criminal that this record hasn't garnered more reviews on Prog Archives.

Report this review (#226742)
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Namesake Caution, the last album by Time of Orchids, is an interesting listen. It has ten tracks, only two of which surpass the five minute mark (the seven minute "Crib Tinge to Callow" and the ten minute "We Speak in Shards").

It has been a really challenging album for me. On the first listen, I didn't like it at all, but I've stuck with it for some time, paid attention to the material and let it grow on me, and it has done so, if not as much as I would like.

The music contained within is slow and ponderous; it takes its time to develop, and it is very rarely energetic. As such, this album is best to listen to in the dark or when you are feeling mellow. It is generally guitar driven, with odd and somewhat dissonant chords being used. The rhythms are odd and at times it even sounds a little math-y, although the band never gives fully over to that style. Vocal harmonies are used and may be one of the more colourful aspects of this bands music, which often sounds very grey.

As I said, it takes mulitple listens for this music to really work, for the subtle melodies and the interplay between the instruments to sink in. And once they do, it is a pleasant listen, if not an entirely varied one (I tend to stop hearing it shortly after the halfway mark). It never really comes across as genius or amazing, and even though it has been growing on me for several listens, it's finally reached the point where that seems to be plateauing, so enjoyable and pleasant is as far as this album has got with me.

The best track on the album, to my ears, is "Parades of Seasons", with a great rhtymic start/stop section in the middle. It's also the only one that has been particularly memorable to me thus far.

Report this review (#475386)
Posted Monday, July 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars TIME OF ORCHIDS were an American band led by keyboardist Chuck Stern. They played complex and challenging music in the KAYO DOT tradition, in fact when they disbanded after this album their drummer Dave Bodie joined KAYO DOT and is still their drummer I believe. The vocals here are easy to listen to in contrast to the music.

"In Color Captivating" is a short intro track and I'm really impressed by the dark atmosphere and bass. It blends into "Windswept Spectacle" where we get spacey synths and picked guitar before the outbursts start to come and go followed by vocals. The vocals soar over the heaviness. "Darling Abandon" opens with vocals right away as sounds come and go. Some Post-Rock styled guitar and a more powerful sound after 2 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside.

"Parade Of Seasons" is so complex! Vocals before a minute and I like the drum work here. Some excellent bass too. Craziness 2 1/2 minutes in. Man what a challenging song. "The Only Thing" is a top three song for me. Mainly because we get lots of laid back sections making it easier to digest. "Gem" has more of those disjointed melodies with vocals over top. Dissonant is the word 2 1/2 minutes in as the melody disappears into oblivion. A tough listen.

"Crib Tinge To Callow" is almost catchy before a minute(yeah right!) then it settles back as sounds come and go while the vocals stay constant. Spacey synths over top. It's intense and difficult 4 minutes in. I do like the bass late. "Meant(Hush-Hush)" has an interesting start then loud outbursts follow then strummed guitar as the vocals join in. It turns powerful and intense 4 minutes in with vocals.

"We Speak In Shards" is my favourite and it's the longest at 10 minutes. Guitar, bass and cymbals come and go to begin with before vocals and drums join in. I like the sound before 3 minutes then there's some clapping a minute later. What!? Drums, atmosphere and picked guitar only 8 1/2 minutes in but the vocals return quickly. "Entertainment Woes" is my final top three song. Complex as usual with vocals. I do like the calm before 2 minutes as we get atmosphere with intricate guitar melodies. This is so good and a pleasant change as it stays this way all the way to the end. Nice.

I wish I knew more about music theory as this one goes right over my head. It's just not enjoyable for me even though I am impressed. KAYO DOT fans should check this out.

Report this review (#1740013)
Posted Saturday, July 1, 2017 | Review Permalink

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