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Album Review

A radical sonic experiment in which Rex bassist Phil Spirito and violinist Julie Liu collaborate with various members of Red Red Meat, throwing everything AND the kitchen sink ("For Lack of Better Words" even lists Ben Massarella on something called "Toilet Percussion") out in a daring attempt to create something completely different. It's an admirable creative experiment, but one that doesn't always coalesce. With a number of unusual instruments (55-gallon drum, toy piano, balalaika, and brick wall percussion among them), sometimes all being played simultaneously, the songs occasionally devolve into deconstructionist noise that proves nearly as difficult to listen to as it was obviously fun to make. An intriguing effort that places creativity over commerce, this album is recommended for extremely adventurous listeners only.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Orso is an experimental, folk-tinged band led by Rex's Phil Spirito, Red Red Meat's Brian Deck, and Califone's Ben Massarella. Featuring banjo-centered songs flushed out by non-traditional instruments such as typewriters and toilets, the band made its studio debut in 1999 with a self-titled album on Perishable Records. Long Time By, a much more focused effort, followed in 2000, and My Dreams Are Back and They Are Better Than Ever arrived...
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Orso, Orso
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