The Orchid Highway The Orchid Highway

It’s hard to believe that it has taken Vancouver’s the Orchid Highway more than a decade to get around to releasing their first album. The upside is that such an experienced band have produced an accomplished, polished debut that delivers on most of their promise. Like the majority of Rainbow Quartz’s roster, the Orchid Highway are mining the rich vein of power pop that has produced the likes of Big Star and the Posies. When they get it right, like on "Sofa Surfer Girl” or "Legion Hall,” their songs could quite happily stand up against anything that Jellyfish offered during their brief career. Yet there are other moments that recycle musical and lyrical clichés, creating something so completely derivative that it’s hard to know just how firmly their tongues are planted in their cheeks. The best moments are the slower, more psychedelic-sounding songs because their rockier moments veer into that imitative territory. On the whole, this is a convincing retro-sounding record that has more highlights than lowlights. (Rainbow Quartz)