Friday, July 17, 2009

Download Morris Orchids new EP, then listen to it

Posted on Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 5:07 PM

That's normally how it works these days, but this time there's a few twists. First, you can pay whatever you want (yes, including nothing, you cheap bastard) to download the local band's new self-titled mini-album here. In a really generous move, the band's not setting a minimum price for even the highest quality FLAC and Apple Lossless versions.

Then tomorrow, head to Music Town, where you can hear it again with others (remember going to record stores and listening to music with actual human beings away from your computer?)

To help you decide what you should pay for the album (be generous, it's a doozy), read my review, which will run in next week's current, on newsstands Wednesday:

July's too early for list-making, but this self-titled EP by Morris Orchids is one of two local albums I've heard this year (Girl in a Coma's Trio B.C. being the other) that should be required listening for anyone bitching about the state of San Antonio's music scene. This six track album deserves a few listens in fact, because it possesses that nagging instant likeability that tempts you to dismiss it as derivative before you can even name its influences, and it flows so smoothly that at first glance it might be mistaken for fluff.

Opener “Bonnie,” for example , is a layered pastry of handclaps, “oohs” and “ahhs,” rain effects, and nearly any other sunnyside pop trope worth mentioning, but the parts have been assembled into a fresh and dreamy whole. “Eyes” wakes up and begins the daily routine, sipping coffee with a significant other and considering “all the feelings we've been faking.” The harmony keyboardist Chris Guerra and guitarists Jaime and Leonard Rader achieve is enough to carry the song and maybe even the album, but it never has to.

“Ink” augments a tropical-tinged vocal line with Anthony Turner's one man drum circle, while “Vista” culminates Windows-style in a mechanical breakdown, and “Waves” sounds like the premature love child of PAS/CAL and a Faberge eggâ?? too beautiful and fragile for this world. Closer “Static” couldn't be sweeter and stranger if it'd been composed by Willy Wonka.

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