The Orchids Good To Be A Stranger

When a band decide to get back together after more than a decade apart, it is hard to know what to expect, especially when it’s to record new music instead of the more fashionable reunion tour. But sometimes it all works out and that is the case with Glasgow band the Orchids. As both the most consistent and underappreciated band on the Sarah Records roster, the Orchids left behind a wonderful discography that was recently reissued by LTM. And with Good To Be A Stranger, it sounds as if they left their gear in the studio 12 years ago and simply picked up where they left off. If anything, it sounds more like an updated version of their earlier years — without Ian Carmichael, their former producer and part of seminal band One Dove, Good To Be A Stranger is a guitar pop album that sounds Teenage Fanclub-like at times but this is another Orchids album. And that is a very good thing. Naturally, this is a more mature record than they’ve made before, much in the same way that Cinerama became a more grown up version of the Wedding Present — the shift in the lyrics is subtle and becomes more obvious with repeated listens. Singer James Hackett’s dreamy vocals still dominate the songs because of their effortlessness but the entire band are so cohesive that it’s hard to believe that it has been ten years since they last played together. It doesn’t matter if this is just a one-off because the Orchids have added another classic album to their already impressive back catalogue.

(Siesta, www.siesta.es) (Siesta)