September 21, 2015

Oranges – ‘Taxonomy’

oranges album art

Las Vegas quartet Oranges are the latest band to be added to the Blue Swan Records Roster. An obvious addition to the blossoming label, the group are the epitome of what is being called “Swancore.” Taxonomy, the group’s label debut, is an 11-track album filled with aggressive post-hardcore and progressive songs that will absolutely make your head spin.

As the name suggests, Taxonomy is an collection of spastic instrumental styles and moods that can all be placed somewhere in the spectrum of post-hardcore. Individual songs alternate from thrashing rhythms and fills to soft, jazzy interludes without any remorse for predictable song structure. If you’re looking for alternating verses and choruses, you’ve come to the wrong place.

There’s a lot of raw talent among the members of this band, and fans will notice right away. Vocalist Parker Hunt delivers relentless screams throughout the album that intermingle with a smattering of clean vocal lines that are just a touch gritty. There’s passion in every note he lays down over the complex and often changing rhythms of his bandmates. Personally, I love the drumming on this album. There’s a lot of attention to detail and a surprising amount of variety to match the 6-7 different feels required of a single song. The guitar work is equally exciting, sometimes giving the illusion that the band has far more than a single player. The low end is there, but it’s subtle. I often found myself wishing the bass lines we’re a bit louder. There are some great parts hiding in the shadows of the mix, you just have to really listen for them unfortunately.

Fans of the genre will feel right at home with Oranges. The multitude of time signatures and alternating screaming and sung vocals are sure to find their way into the hearts of listeners familiar with The Fall Of Troy, Hail The Sun, A Lot Like Birds, Dance Gavin Dance, and so on. Musical style changes come at the flick of a switch, but the boys in Oranges have no trouble making a dramatic screamed breakdown fade down to almost nothing before quickly building back up, all within a few short seconds. The concept won’t shock those with a taste for it, but new fans of the genre will admittedly be a bit lost. The good news is there are still some pretty accessible grooves amidst the craziness for newcomers to latch onto.

Overall there’s a lot of material to digest in Taxonomy‘s 11 tracks, so trust me when I say you won’t be able to turn on this album and tap your feet right away. Don’t let that be a deterrent however, because if you take the time to get to know this record you’ll be quite pleased with the result. Taxonomy is a wild ride, and I’m looking forward to future efforts by Oranges.

Listen to the band’s debut single “Snow Monkeys (So You Think This Is A Fucking Game?)” below:

Check out Taxonomy by Oranges on Bandcamp or grab an album bundle at MerchNOW.

Rating: 7/10

Written by Scott Murray- Follow him on Twitter.

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