The Roots of Orchis – S/T EP

Most of the members of The Roots of Orchis aren’t even old enough to drink yet, and the band has been playing together since 1997. Think how good they’re going to be in their late 20’s! This San Diego band already has two full-lengths behind them and a number of compilation appearances. They branch out with their unique style of instrumental post-rock/math-rock on this new EP.

To say The Roots of Orchis are good is an understatement. This band is remarkably tight, and they combine math-rock and post-rock with a unique blend of avant-garde rock and even jazz for their brand of instrumental. That’s not to say all of their material is entirely unique, as some of their past songs have sounded comfortably in the vein of Tristeza or The Mercury Program. But these four songs show the band continuing to develop their sound, incorporating more complex rhythms, keyboard and sampling, and more intricate time signatures.

“Five Finger Method” kicks off the EP with a 6-minute dose of brooding, bass-heavy moodiness, kind of a swirling, almost Godspeed You Black Emperor! feel to it. Some scratching comes in way in the background for an almost eerie approach. “Fat, Furious and Fluffy” is a bit more up-tempo and less brooding, with a more melodic and crisp approach, with keyboards adding some nice atmospherics to the song. “Gold…and the Man” is an ambient affair, only about four minutes and quiet with some keyboard sounds, and it makes a nice transition into the last track, “Please Call 874-2420” (which you might want to call if you live in San Diego, just to try it). This 5-minute song has a great flow, lead by jazzy bass and drums and again a kind of moody atmosphere, slow and brooding yet quite relaxed and stark. Some nice melodic guitar fills out the song.

The ambient “Gold…” is a bit dull, although it shows the band experimenting with some new sounds. I think the more electronic sampling the band is trying is a nice addition to the more traditional intricate instrumental feel. Keep at it. I imagine their next full-length is going to be stellar, but this EP has some excellent tracks itself.