Blue Orchid Reaction: 4 Chord Theory

Sometimes you find a band so pure where music is all. The intensity can make it feel like you can perhaps see ghosts on the coast. Here was a communal fire where family allegiances were reenforced, here is the outline of a longhouse, here some abandoned seashells from a long past meal.

With Leeds band Blue Orchid Reaction, rather than to pre-history, that sense of purity means I’m transposed back to the late 70’s- early 80’s. In this era there’s phoney wars, relentless hopeless unemployment and carefree calm before the HIV storm. Blue Orchid Reaction have produced an earnest piece of music imploring you to lose yourself within this time frame. It’s called 4 Chord Theory.

The closing track to the Blue Orchid Reaction EP Stop Looking has a nice chaotic, discordant feel to it. The song reminds me of what punk was originally all about; not necessarily the hard noise but the DIY. In an age where a quality recording process is readily accessible, it’s easy to forget that the pure energy comes with the most accessible tunes. Stop Looking reminds me of real heyday punk DIY bands like TV Personalities, the likes of whom inspired Radio 1 DJ John Peel to stop playing those multi layered, tousled and teased Led Zep tracks and to par it all back to the raw emotion. Press that reset button, people.

Escape To Plan musically (to my ear at least) has has something of a Doors or Velvet Underground vibe, and then perhaps an early Cure vibe. This is so deeply channeling the original indie vibe, I had to ask the guys where their name Blue Orchid Reaction came from. I kind of thought of a little remembered Manchester band formed from a couple of Mark E Smith former Fall band mates, The Blue Orchids. The band name, it transpires, comes from the White Stripes song on 2003’s Elephant which to be fair is equally as cool as f.

Beta Make Up has a nice beefy rockabilly rhythm and a cool raucous vocal. Opener to the Blue Orchid Reaction EP Animal With No Mate likewise has a very solid musical intent. There’s a nice tone to the guitar on this track, while the vocals has that real retro feel to it. Even the lyrics channel the simple times “that’s alright, cos were not going out tonight” is the main theme.

Overall I’m enjoying this very accessible 4 Chord Theory; in stripping things back to its bluesy ballsy roots the EP hits it raw into the veins. Nice job indeed.

Chris R


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