Published Oct 28, 2014On paper, it doesn't really look like Scottish band the Orchids are very prolific. After all, five albums in 26 years is not the most impressive statistic, but it isn't quite that simple. In their early days with legendary label Sarah Records, they spent most of their time recording wonderful seven-inch singles before moving onto longer players. Plus, there was also a 12-year hiatus in the middle, after which they re-emerged revitalized, and have been releasing new records at breakneck speed (at least for them) ever since.
Beatitude #9 finds them picking up where they left off on 2010's The Lost Star, with their own brand of indie pop. The record will definitely sound familiar to anyone who has listened to the Orchids before. Some of that is down to the very characteristic vocals of James Hackett, but it's also that this is a niche that they are understandably comfortable in; they are very good at it.
The record is the spiritual followup to their 1994 album, Striving For The Lazy Perfection, on which they stretched their collective legs, played around more with synths and even invited backing singer Pauline Hynds to take over lead vocals on one track. Yet it still feels fresh here, because there's something classic and very appealing about their unassuming music that conjures up memories of Teenage Fanclub and other purveyors of guitar pop. The bottom line is that the Orchids are still making the quality music they've always made, and there's absolutely nothing to suggest that's going stop anytime soon. (Acuarela)