Orchid was a screamo band from Amherst, Massachusetts, United States. Considered by many to be one of the pioneers of the "screamo" sound, Orchid combined this with a post-modern aesthetic, releasing several extended play and splits as well as three LPs. The band consisted of Jayson Green as lead vocalist, drummer Jeffrey Salane, guitarist Will Killingsworth and bassist Geoff Garlock.
In 1999 Orchid released their first record Chaos Is Me and a year after in 2000 released Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! In July 2002 they released their third studio album Gatefold and later in the year, in September, Orchid released a compilation of both their first and second albums onto CD containing all 21 tracks from both. After the release of both they split up. Posthumously, in 2005 Orchid released Totality, a compilation album comprised all of 24 tracks from out of press and hard to find B-side and split EP material previously only available on vinyl.
The band was formed while Jayson Green, Will Killingsworth, and Brad Wallace were studying at Hampshire College, and Jeff Salane was attending UMass in Amherst, Massachusetts in early 1998. The majority of their discography was released on vinyl records which they often shared with other bands. There were three full-length (by their standards) records released: Chaos Is Me, Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! and the final Self-Titled release (often called "Gatefold" after its packaging), all on Ebullition Records.
Towards the end of their lifespan, the final line-up of Orchid had formed various side-projects, with vocalist Green, bassist Geoff Garlock and drummer Salane forming the band Panthers. Guitarist Will Killingsworth played in the band Bucket Full of Teeth and worked on Dead Air Studios, his recording project based in Amherst, MA, where the band recorded their final album. They had previously recorded at Godcity with Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. Orchid played last shows in a number of cities during the summer of 2002, the last of which was at The Advocate in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, where they played with Sinaloa and the band Wolves, who had former Orchid bassist Brad Wallace playing guitar for them.
Killingsworth continues to run his own label, Clean Plate Records, whilst his band Bucket Full of Teeth released several records, including a full-length LP on Level Plane Records before he formed the band Ampere, who are still active. Green, Garlock, and Salane continue to play in the band Panthers, who have released two full-length albums and an EP. After Wolves finished, Brad joined Transistor Transistor to play guitar, who also recently released an album on Level-Plane. Jayson Green later formed a hardcore punk supergroup named Violent Bullshit, with members of Black Army Jacket and the Fiery Furnaces.
Style and legacy
Orchid's music has been described as being highly dissonant, fast-tempo and chaotic, incorporating elements of powerviolence into screamo, this has often been labelled as "emoviolence" and their style has been noted in being close proximity to grindcore. Orchid was known for their well-conceived literary approach to lyrics which are of a personal nature, even more than other screamo bands. Their lyrics make reference to Anna Karina, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer & the Frankfurt School, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Attali, Guy Debord, and other aspects of European critical theory and culture. But their music also includes melodic elements, violins, and brief snippets of modern classical music. Italian site "Emotional Breakdown" gave a positive review of Orchid's compilation album Totality, saying: "[Orchid] are the concentrated essence of the most poignant music you can imagine: the vocal cords that are pulled until they tear, the music sounds dark and desperate. They possess all these characteristics as the undisputed masters they have taught many proselytes, in all of their cynical splendor."
Orchid is considered a prominent and quintessential band in screamo. Orchid are considered legends in the emotional hardcore scene primarily due to their debut album Chaos Is Me, which left "a huge crater that was their influence". Lars Gotrich, when writing for NPR music credited Orchid alongside bands Circle Takes The Square and Pg.99 as being prominent influences on emotional post-hardcore. In January 2012, Canadian post-hardcore band Silverstein released a sixth studio album titled Short Songs, which included a covered Orchid's "Destination: Blood". The cover was included on a second disc of covers of, in the band's opinion "classic punk songs" which were all less than 90 seconds in length.
Former band members
- Jayson Green - lead vocals, keyboards, percussion (1997-2002)
- Jeffrey Salane - drums, percussion (1997-2002)
- Will Killingsworth - guitar, keyboards (1997-2002)
- Brad Wallace - bass (1998-1999)
- Geoff Garlock - bass (1999-2002)
- Chaos Is Me LP (Ebullition, 1999)
- Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! 10" (Ebullition, 2001)
- Gatefold LP/CD (Ebullition, July 9, 2002)
- Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! + Chaos Is Me CD (Ebullition, September 10, 2002)
- Totality CD (Clean Plate, January 15, 2005)
EPs and split records
- Demo Cassette Tape (Self-Released)
- Orchid / Pig Destroyer Split 7" (Amendment, 1997)
- Self-Titled 7" (Hand Held Heart, 1999)
- Orchid / Encyclopedia Of American Traitors Split 7" (Witching Hour Records, 1999)
- Orchid / Combat Wounded Veteran Split 6" (Clean Plate, 1999)
- Orchid / The Red Scare Split 7" (Hand Held Heart, 2000)
- Orchid / Jeromes Dream Skull Record (Witching Hour Records, 2000)
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