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Orestea - Elements album review

Taking the emo way out

Cover art for Orestea - Elements album

Caught between heading into the alt.rock blue yonder or building up their fan base, Guildford emo-flavoured rockers Orestea have chosen the latter course. After all, they have the power chords, the edgy, angular riffs and impassioned vocals of Lisa Avon to carry it off.

Dense, clattering drums and a deep, resonant bass set up the opening Welcome To Surviville (sic), before Avon steams in with the first of her strident, harmonic hooks, with the rest of the band catching up quickly. By the time they reach the title song on track three they’re seeing how fierce they can be while hanging on to the melodies.

But it’s the slow, bitter-sweet Getaway and the enhanced sounds on album closer Burning Bridges that offer a more distinctive way forward.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.