Orions Belte - Mint

by Nathan Fidler Rating:6 Release Date:2018-08-10
Orions Belte - Mint
Orions Belte - Mint

The Norwegian instrumentalists state that they don’t care for being pigeonholed by genre, yet offer up a number of different genre strands in their online presence - all of which feature and help aptly sum up their refreshing debut album Mint.

Breezy in sound, and with a European sense of summer tunes for the sheer enjoyment of it, Orions Belte mix flanged guitars with lap guitar and a happily ruminating bass line on opener ‘New Year’s Eve #2’. That title alone should give the game away a little, signalling that this is a band which jams and turns those jams into these elongated tracks.

The styles across the album are never dull, with ‘Joe Frazier’ focusing on the kind of blues riffs you’d expect from The Black Keys of old (it is also only one of a couple of tracks to feature lyrics), but what lets them down is generally the elongated sense of a band getting stuck on one setting for that song.

‘Le Mans’ feels effortlessly cool, letting clipped strums ring out alongside a distinctly French feeling backdrop, yet it doesn’t stretch beyond that mode - you’re essentially listening to the same four bars go around for just over three minutes. Suffering a similar fate, ‘Atlantic Surfing’ gets you to invest in the pulse of the bass and drum, only for the same sound to be stretched across seven minutes, throwing in a slightly off-kilter electronic solo somewhere after the halfway point.

Whether they’re flirting with world music sounds (‘Delmonte’) or taking a bluesy riff for a walk (‘Picturehouse Blues’), you’re always hoping for something extra to happen on top of the laid back atmosphere they’ve created.

‘Papillion’ is relaxing in its reverb-soaked guitar and slow drum shuffle, and that really is the most you can hope for on this album. You’ll need to have everything ticked of your list, some sunshine and possibly a pool to float listlessly in for a while, then you might be able to truly appreciate the vibe they’re trying to cultivate.

It’s hard to find a lot to cling on to as you go through track by track. When you’re creating instrumental tracks you have to hope your hook and composition is strong enough to keep people coming back for more, and while these are well crafted, they’re merely backdrops to something else, not the show-stopping efforts you want them to be for the sake of your enjoyment.

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