The Orchids


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Suddenly infused with a spirit of permanence and likely sensing a more hostile market to come, Sarah Records looked to the Orchids for the label's first full-length release. The band's inoffensive jangle pop roots and their avoidance of difficult timing schemes provided hardcore indie fans with something that was at once comfortable and skilled; in fact, Lyceum could have been a lush Teenage Fanclub record if it hadn't focused so much on mid-'80s Johnny Marr-isms. Intelligence comes at a price, though, and it would often drown out any possibility of a blossoming personality. The Orchids were taut but sometimes indistinguishable, smart but often unaware how easily they could, and would, drop into leaden simplicity, such as in the deliberate, sprawling, speckled verses and choruses of unsuccessfully subdued tracks like "Carrole-Anne."

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