The Blue Orchids

Agents of Change

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The Blue Orchids changed their sound substantially on this four-song, 12" EP, moving from the brittle Manchester post-punk of their debut LP and early singles to more melodic, wistful gloom/doom rock. Though the mood was downbeat, it was also reasonably seductive instead of reflexively anguished, adding more accomplished washes of acoustic guitar, violin, piano, and ghostly female backup vocals than could be heard on their earlier outings. Combined with Martin Bramah's more tuneful, crooned vocals, the songs are actually rather attractive in their morose haze, something you'd find a lot harder to say about their more intense punkish efforts. Unfortunately the band never got to follow up this promising growth with a full-length album exploring these directions, only recording a few intermittent singles and EPs over the next decade. All four of the tracks from Agents of Change are on A Darker Bloom: The Blue Orchids Collection.