Blue Orchids - The Once & Future Thing - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Blue Orchids - The Once & Future Thing

by Rob Jones Rating:7 Release Date:2016-06-09

Blue Orchids are led by Martin Bramah who had more than the odd stint as a major player in The Fall (including those all important nascent years). The music of The once and Future Things album can be far removed from the machinations of Mark E.Smith-but, then it can straddle the same arena. However, the tunes can have more of The Wedding Present formula in its gusto amongst a string of styles-and, Blue Orchids are definitely a potent example of 'indie'.

The surreal stream of consciousness/unconsciousness approach afforded by M.E.S. is unique and any plagiarists will always fall short of the Mark! The Fall are one of the most inspiring, influential and immense acts that has ever existed and Bramah has obviously played his part in that story. However, he has his own tale which may have a taste of his former employers. A good day to Live, Iron Tree and Motorway will appeal to Fall folk with their respective direct hits. Meanwhile, August Rebels (with its trace of The Littlest Rebel) states that the 'revolution will not be serious'; and, the spirit of Smith also ghosts with the bark of Groundhog Life. On the very song-of that title Bramah also narrates in a poetical fashion over a swirling soundtrack; and, melody in his voice certainly that takes him away from you know who!

The ten tracks here are tinged with a range of other rock rhythms and there can be clear traces of Inspiral Carpets as if orchestrated by Vic Goddard. There are an array of alternative reference points and Rosy Hours could be where Cherry Ghost meet Shack on a windswept Mancunian terraced street. Bramah displays pop prowess: Just run your dial over Jam Today, Road to Perilous and Feather from the Sun-a triumvirate that possess an early 90's sub-Tom Hingley potency. The Fall and Inspiral Carpets of course collaborated on I want You to add to the intrigue. Whisky Burn has the essence of a more coherent Shane Mcgowan in full flow while Running Blind could be a Sensational Alex Harvey Band offering.
Mixed bag! Oh! Yes! Nonetheless, variety may well be the spice of life but without some quality in amongst the quantity it is all a tad futile. No worries here as The once and Future Things delivers enough diligence to warrant a visit.

Blue Orchids manifest their own mantra while also utilising a musical magpie ethos. A D.I.Y. ethos does not overcomplicate affairs but at the same time there is plenty of ambition within the content. So why be Blue Orchid? Why not? Bramah and his associates have pushed the envelope since 1979 and even though there have been periods out of the eye of the underground 2016 has this sonic survivor pushing to be The Once and Future Thing.

 

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