Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music


October 9, 2003

Oris is a powerhouse. Born on a grunge base, it can kick your face in. But that’s not what makes it so amazing. It’s the other stuff they add in that kicks it up a notch. There’s so many of them that this is like Emeril Live, musical style.

Some wild guitar kicks this into overdrive from the start. A second guitar and a bass line turn “Guns” into a grunge barnburner with an artistic of overlay of pleasingly dissonant melody. It’s a whirling, twisting, chaotic endeavor that sucks you in instantly. The vocals are reminiscent of Thom Yorke, a droning, moaning, melodic wail plastered over the soundscapes; A voice which that causes people to shiver and shake in awe. “Guns” is so haunting and angst-ridden that if a suicide could be put to music, this would be it. The rest of this album is just like that: haunting, powerful, and delivered with a steady hand. The bass pulses out a perfect rhythm for the guitars feed off, and the vocals just lie down on top of it all and instantly mesh perfectly. As if that wasn’t enough, they fill their songs not only with conventional instruments, but with heavy distortion, the sound of rain, and other electronic noises to make the sond as thick as possible. These songs range from the grunge stylings of the aforementioned “Guns” to the soft, pretty, Coldplay meets Train feel of the closer “Here Today”. In fact, the CD is a logical progression from hard to soft. That seemingly small touch just compliments the musical genius that Oris possesses. Yes, you heard that. Oris has a musical genius not seen since the likes of early Radiohead and Nirvana. And if that sounds like it’s a bit pretentious for an indie rock band, that’s cause it is.  They’re just that good.

Radiohead (OK Computer era) + Smashing Pumpkins +  Coldplay = Oris. Need I say more?




Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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