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Time of Orchids

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New York City avant-rock combo Time of Orchids has evolved over the course of their career from metal-edged art-noise terrorists to a skewed, eclectic stew that draws freely from both the Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart axis and the calmer sonic world of 1960s European film soundtracks à la John Barry, Kryztof Komeda, and Ennio Morricone, as well as their prog metal and post-rock contemporaries. Time of Orchids was formed by keyboardist Chuck Stern and guitarist Charlie Looker, who drafted in bassist Jesse Krakow and drummer Keith Abrams to complete the lineup; Looker left the band in 2000, replaced by Will Redmond for the band's first self-released album, 2001's Melonwhisper. A heavy blend of metal and experimental music à la Mike Patton's Mr. Bungle, with some dub-like elements that recall early Public Image Ltd., Melonwhisper was a hyper-aggressive debut. 2003's Much Too Much Fun (the first album with new permanent guitarist Eric Fitzgerald) was nearly as heavy but not so aggressively peculiar, and featured guest vocals by the B-52's' Kate Pierson. Abrams was replaced by new drummer David Bodie just after the recording of 2004's Early as Seen in Pace, an exercise in technically dazzling progressive hard rock. After three self-released albums, Time of Orchids was picked up by John Zorn's Tzadik Records for 2005's Sarcast While, a more reflective album featuring guest appearances by trumpeter Tim Byrnes and cult favorite dream pop singer Julee Cruise. Long-running progressive rock label Cuneiform Records released Time of Orchids' fifth album, the ambitious Namesake Caution, in the fall of 2007. ~ Stewart Mason


1999 in New York, NY

Years Active:

'90s, '00s