Emo has become a dirty word in recent times. Pre-Strokes the NME thought you were cool if you cried about your girlfriend dumping you over loud angry guitars. Still, even if Hundred Reasons didn't quite make the impact people (not least their label) had hoped for, "emotional hardcore" appears to be kicking in the back door again, stubbing its toe and then wailing about it.
Orko have the taste for emo. Northampton's answer to Glassjaw they may not be, but this eager four piece are perhaps all the better for that - coming across more balanced and melodic than their psyched peers. A case in point is opening track, 'About Last Time', playing the LOUD-quiet-LOUD dynamic expertly yet adding to that with a degree of subtlety lacking from both grunge and hardcore. The lyric about killing yourself when they stop writing new Simpsons episodes is reason alone to hear it. "Stop feeling sorry for yourself" is a call to arms opposed to an invite to slash wrists.
Tracks like 'Rivers Pyrex', show more than one set of influences at work within this unit. Starting out like Smashing Pumpkins circa the double album it then drops down to the edge of adolescent angst last peered over by Symposium before they got heavy and toppled over into Hell (Is For Heroes, natch) - a theme carried over to 'Stop Saying It's Okay', lots of pummelled power-chords and "WURGH!" and "WARGH!" vocals. Beware the eighties solos though.
Having toured Germany (home of denim-rock, and a reason for the aforementioned note twiddling) and found themselves played on Totalrock, Orko are clearly well liked in certain quarters. And why not, it's strong passionate stuff and it stands proudly above most of the mediocre so-called "rock" crap clogging up my demo pile at the moment.
8Andy (quirk) Thomas's Score