The Orgone Box

Orgone Box

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Sheffield-based multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer Rick Corcoran, who plays nearly every instrument here, is the only member of the Orgone Box. He reportedly used four eight-track tape machines, a 32-channel mixing desk, three guitar amps, a half-dozen effects-laden guitars, and laid down guide drums to a click-track during the initial home-recording sessions. Later, during four days of overdubbing at a mansion called "the House in the Woods," Corcoran was aided by a couple of friends, drummer Tam Johnstone (ex-the Green Tambourines, the General Store) and bassist/keyboardist Tim McTighe, who provided "orchestral arrangements" on a Roland MC300. The result, of course, is that the Orgone Box has that identifiable studio sheen that low-budget self-produced solo efforts of this ilk often have, where the drum/bass rhythm tracks are purposefully simplified in the early stages of recording to easily allow for sonic layers to be added above. Even so, unlike most albums that are built this way, brick by brick, from the foundation to the penthouse, the more you listen this CD, the more you realize the Orgone Box is a stylish triumph of substance over simple revisionist psych-pop. Corcoran was evidently inspired by listening to his favorites from the original 1967 era -- the Fabs, Butterfly-era Hollies, early Pink Floyd are a few that come to mind -- and "informed" by later albums released by the Dukes of Stratosphear, Robyn Hitchcock, and Oasis, but he doesn't seem to be too interested in ripping off any of his precursors. On the second track, "Anaesthesia," Corcoran even lets listeners know that he's "not into psychedelia/I've got a psychedelic mind...whatever," probably meaning that his music simply pours out of him whenever he hits "record," without him having to "psychedelicize" to get into the mood. Each track abounds with effective Lennon-esque vocals, ringing Byrds-ian 12-strings, phase-shifting guitar solos, and mellifluous multi-tracked vocal harmonies, all swirling amid confectionery pop melodies. The collective result resembles a fantastic Baroque pop construct of Sgt. Pepper-y proportions, the kind of record that headphones were invented for.

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