Orchid is a rock band from
San Francisco founded in 2006 by group of dudes playing
some good old rock music. Now that may sound lack-luster, but I implore you to
pause for a minute and think of what that implies. Orchid isn’t just any
ordinary run-in-the-mill rock act. It’s not a throwback gimmicky retro rehash.
With elements of psychedelic fused with a distinct 70’s sound, Orchid is your
cure for the classic metal itch.
with acts like Blues Pills and Scorpion Child, these folks are now a
legitimate entity playing festivals like Rock
Hard and Kirk Hammett’s Fear FestEvil. They’re out with a new
EP titled ‘Sign of the Witch’, and
although its short, it is spicy and not sweet.
EP shows Theo Mindell inheriting the
legacy of 70’s rock vocal style from Birmingham, England and giving it a modern
identity. Carter Kennedy keeps the
groove tight and jazzy, giving us many familiar licks on the drums and offering
ample space across the phrasing of the EP to bask in all its glory. Supporting
the face-melting riffage of Mark Thomas
Baker’s guitar is Kieth Nickel on
the bass, holding it all together.
‘Sign of the Witch’ starts
with “Helicopters”, screaming hard
rock at you in the same way you felt when you received your first dose of Black Sabbath, although I found the
verse eerily similar to Moby’s “Extreme
Ways” . This is followed by “John The Tiger”, another solid track,
reminding you a bit of Led Zeppelin and again, heavy Black Sabbath and early Judas
Priest/Deep Purple, with nods to Rainbow and Dio as well. “Sign Of The Witch” brings the occult element to the mix and is
sure to be a hit with the arena rock audience. To close the EP off, “Strange Winds” takes a different route
and paints more of a scene within the sound rather than taking a straightforward
approach. A lot of percussive instruments are in use here, creating a certain
atmosphere akin to following someone into a castle, almost undergoing a
ceremony of sorts, concluded by an organ.
immensely satisfying journey indeed. The most striking thing about this EP as
with all other outputs by Orchid is the production. We all know how bombarded
we are with super-slick posh production and digital studio-wizardry. In this
time period, it is nice to have a band that knows the basics, and knows you
don’t need insane amount of processing to rock hard. This no-nonsense “plug in
those instruments and let’s rock” attitude is what appeals to our instincts,
and is what makes this band so strong in its live performance and philosophy.