Jay Gordon - Vocals
Ryan Shuck - Guitar
Amir Derakh - Guitar Synth
Paige Haley - Bass
Bobby Hewitt - Drums
Bio (ftom mtv.com)
This Southern California, USA-based sleaze rock outfit rose to prominence in the USA as the first signings to Korn's Elementree label, and in the early years of the new millennium did much to rejuvenate the industrial metal scene pioneered by forefathers Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. The five members, who came together in 1997, were all veterans of the Los Angeles metal circuit. Ryan Shuck (guitar) had played with Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis in Sex Art, Bobby Hewitt (b. Bobby Fernandez; drums) played with the Electric Love Hogs, Paige Haley (bass) was a member of various under performing LA bands, while Amir Derakh (guitar synthesizer) had recorded two albums with bog standard 80s metal act Rough Cutt. In the mid-90s, Derakh teamed up with Jay Gordon (vocals) to produce Coal Chamber's debut album.
Orgy's creative spark was captured on their 1998 debut Candyass
, which was produced by Josh Abraham and recorded in a secluded cabin near Lake Tahoe on the Nevada border. The album demonstrated the band's relentless, abrasive rhythmic attack processed by computer and complemented by contrasting melodic hooks. Their first self-composed single, "Stitches", was not successful, but their cover version of New Order's "Blue Monday", became a highly popular US radio hit. The band's liberal use of make-up, meanwhile, drew comparisons to both Marilyn Manson and the New Romantic bands of the early 80s. Buoyed by the success of "Blue Monday" and the band's appearance on Korn's Family Values tour, Candyass
quickly achieved platinum status in America. The follow-up, Vapor Transmission
, wisely did not alter the winning formula and broached the US Top 20.
I think this is easily Orgy's best album to date. While Candyass
only offered a few memorable tracks in my mind ("Stitches", "Blue Monday", "Fetisha") and suffered from production issues, this album shines in both departments. The mix is about as perfect as it can be. Every instrument is audible at all times, the synths are fantastic (possibly the best synths I've ever heard on a record), and the arrangements are phenomonal. The production is what makes this album.
Almost every song is epic and contains great performances by all of the band members. What turns most people off from this band is the songwriting: most of the lyrics on this album concern technology, fashion, or something of the sort. Don't be thrown off, though - this is heavy music. It's just the lyrics may be a bit too formulaic for some. The rare exception would be "Eva", which is probably the most heartfelt song Orgy have ever done. Not exactly a ballad, but definitely gentler than most Orgy songs.
Honestly, if you can get past the lyrics, there are some amazingly arranged songs here. "Fiction (Dreams In Digital)", "Opticon", "The Oddyssey", and "Dramatica" are great examples, but the pinnacle of the album for me is probably "Eyes-Radio-Lies", an epic climax of a song that exemplifies everything Orgy does so well. The album lags a bit during the end... "Chasing Sirens" is an average track, while the closer "Where's Gerrold" is the only big letdown, but the bonus track is pretty good and may redeem the bad ending "Gerrold" provides. Almost every track besides those two are good, and nothing really feels like filler.
Also, what Gordon lacks in the writing department he makes up for in his vocal arrangements. He has an uncanny ability to take lyrics that aren't even close to rhyming or have no real sort of semblance and somehow make them fit into a song's structure perfectly. He could probably take a written essay or paragraph and make it a decent lyrical composition.
In comparison to their first effort, Vapor Transmission
was a major step up for the band, and in my opinion is still the defining moment in their musical careers. This is what they should strive for more often... it feels unique and original, and still makes for a great listen. 4/5