The Orchids The Lost Star

Reunions of beloved bands are a mixed blessing, especially if they also decide to get back into the studio. But thankfully, some bands have managed to pick up where they left off, like former Sarah Records act the Orchids. Their 2007 album, Good to be a Stranger, was a great record, but it turns out that they were merely finding their pace before recording their best album to date. The Lone Star sees them reuniting with their old producer (One Dove's Ian Carmichael) and it turns out he was the final part of the equation that would allow the Orchids to return to form. Just like on their best work, the band move effortlessly from song to song, flirting with different styles, although at the root of it all is the classic guitar indie pop Scottish bands do so well. They are also still trying to stretch their wings, and the addition of the Cairn String Quartet (whom have worked with Camera Obscura) to "The Girl and the Soldier" gives the song a richness that mere guitars cannot provide. But when their guitars soar, like they do on "Doot Doot," they sound better than ever. It might be too much to hope that there is another great album in them, but considering their Lazarus-esque existence, if anybody could pull it off, it would be the Orchids. (Pebble)