I recently had the privilege of receiving an early copy of ORION‘s new record, Live The Song. I wrote the band’s bio, and as such, took an extremely deep dive into the album. A typical rock record this is not. The music and production are excellent, but it was the completely unexpected lyrical content and message that pulled me in.
In today’s “Look At Me” culture of selfies, bling and mind-numbing pop culture, this record took me completely by surprise. I’ll let the bio tell you more about them and the history of the members. You should know that for a limited time, the record is free to download from http://www.oriontheband.com/. Here’s the bio:
What if I told you “it’s only rock and roll” doesn’t apply to Orion? Would you be disappointed? Would you click away? Or would you dig deeper?
Orion’s music is a journey of self-awareness, where the dark guise of social conformity and suppression is exposed and the liberation and power of the human spirit is reclaimed. The journey isn’t along a perfect path, carpeted with rose petals. It’s strewn with shards of mistakes, fear, loneliness and regret. Yet the music reminds us that the human experience will have its peaks and valleys, and to embrace our imperfections along with the opportunity for growth. The music and lyrics present the listener with a message that describes an infinite potential–in each of us–for acceptance, for love and for greatness.
Founded by vocalist Pann Reed, Orion stems from the San Francisco Bay Area, perhaps the greatest melting pot on the planet where race, religion and sexual orientation mean little. Pann held the vision of Orion for years while searching for the right people to complete the lineup. Unknown to Pann at the time, his old friend and former bandmate, James Walker, held the same vision but didn’t know Pann was available. When the two reconnected, the chemistry was instant and perfect. They could finally make the music they wanted to make. Music that was deeper, thought provoking and unconstrained by the whims of a label. Not content to settle for just anyone, the search for a guitarist ultimately led to Andy Weller. Together, Pann, James and Andy bring the vision of Orion to life through their shared passion and love of music. Mutual friend, drummer Jeff Gomes, added his talent for the recording of the album.
Years earlier, Pann and James were fortunate enough to taste success when Rick Rubin’s American Recordings label signed their previous project, ManMade God. Having achieved the golden ring validation that every local band dreams of grasping, the thrill of recording and touring was short lived as the recording industry crumbled before their eyes. Dismayed by the factory-like uniformity that record labels continuously churn out and spoon-feed to the masses, Orion’s music infuses the soul back into the art.
Live The Song is Orion’s first full-length album and it’s everything you want in a rock and roll record: it’s powerful, it’s loud and it’s got attitude. Live The Song is a statement that demands to be heard, absorbed and shared. On the other hand, Live The Song contains elements you may not expect from a rock and roll record: the vibe is uplifting and positive, while at times ethereal, atmospheric and wise. The song and lyrical crafting is deliberate, designed to embrace the listener and engage them in a dialogue about the journey of the soul.
Live The Song is the antithesis of the tired, played-out, bland sameness you’ve heard a thousand times on commercial radio. Instead, Orion’s Live The Song is a vulnerable yet fearless expression of an idea, an identity, and a oneness that’s being offered to you by a band that wants to connect with your soul.
Forget everything you know about rock and roll. For that matter, forget what you’ve grown accustomed to hearing in any type of popular music. In fact, drop any preconceived expectations for what you’re about to experience. For a moment, just let go of all of that. And, if your spirit is adventurous enough, let go of your sense of self. Put on your headphones, sit back, close your eyes and come on a ride with Orion.