Review Summary: like those little boxes of cereal that come in packs of 6
'Namesake Caution' is one of kind. Time of Orchids has made an individual addition to music with this record and the level of technical excellence that is smeared all over this gloriously addictive avant-pop masterpiece is jaw dropping. Every song is a series of disjointed explorations of guitar melodies that go from influences of Don Caballero to Fantomas to Beach Boys in a matter of three minutes. While as strange as that sounds perhaps what sets the bar for Time of Orchids is the beautiful incorporation of lots of multi-layered vocals. One needs only to look at the flawless ending of 'Mean (Hush-Hush)' which can only be described as Mr. Bungle meets Kayo Dot. As, I don't feel like using that band's name very often in this review, lets just say this is like what Kayo Dot would be if they were really into pop music. The composition is just as intrinsic and can only be understood after numerous listens. 'Namesake Caution' obviously has changed the playing field of what avant-garde music can be.
'Darling Abandon' is the most successful track on the album for really two reasons. One is the fact that song begins with a stuttered gasp. This subtle yet extremely pleasing attribute is probably one of the best decisions Time of Orchids has made since their inception and its usage is incredibly poignant. The other reason is because the bastardized guitar solo that is in that song is quite possibly one of the most epic moments that I've heard in music in a very long time. The video for 'Darling Abandon' is a bizarre conglomeration of '90s television effects mixed with post-modern paintings. Clearly, Time of Orchids is an intelligent group and the fact that they can release an album like 'Namesake Caution' that is just as challenging and completely different from their previous release is insane. 'Sarcast While' is literally one of the best Tzadik records and while it is a very flawlessly executed in its style, 'Namesake Caution' is a more precise record. 'Sarcast While' may hold more artistic weight in my heart, but 'Namesake Caution' is often the album I find myself reaching for when I'm in for a fix of the complex.
Time of Orchids finally can be completely and utterly praised for the way they conclude this rollercoaster of an album. After dredging through the ten minute bong filled 'We Speak in Shards' which in itself is a task, we are greeted with possibly the softer side of Time of Orchids in the track, 'Entertainment Woes'. 'Entertainment Woes' ups the anti on 'Sarcast While's' epic conclusion by simply just creating a three minute long soundscape that is literally one of the most beautiful things I've heard in a long time. In short, 'Namesake Caution' is a record any music fan should own. If you do not enjoy this, you are obviously to shallow to appreciate true expressions of music. This is one of the most insanely layered records I've picked up in a long time and the way it has kind of been ignored is in my opinion almost criminal.