Swedish record label Massproducktion Records emerged from the punk scene, when, in February 1979, a band called Massmedia released their first record on their own label. This was a pressing limited to a mere 492 numbered copies, and now is apparently something of a collectors item. During the 80s, however, with many of the new wave bands having split or formed new bands, Massproduktion broadened their musical horizon – a policy which seems to have continued in more recent years with releases from The Soft Eyes and Lars Bygdén showing very little in the way of a "punk influence".
The same could also be said of My Orchard, and this seven track mini album. The drums might provide more than their fair share of energy, but the emphasis here is on acoustic guitars and melodies rather than anything remotely "Spirit of '77".
Silhouettes opens with A List Of Things, a straight to the point poppy number that brings to mind Living By Numbers by late 70s/early 80s synth pop band New Musik for some unknown reason, but with an altogether thrashier element. Natural Instinct is a melodic number with some nice backing vocals and a nicely faded ending, whilst Structures is a quirky thrashy number.
Gone, however, is probably the highlight of the set, as the singer
announces to his ex, "This is my life go live yours, I don't understand your
logic" over fuzzy guitar lines and more effective backing vocals. Forever
Lasting is another highlight with a guitar slightly reminiscent of New
Order's Ceremony, although So Great is a mid-paced number that
kind of passes you by. Then, the CD ends with Sweetest Lies, a slow
piano-backed ballad. I could have used the word 'melodic' a few times in this
review, because My Orchard certainly know their way around a tune. But unfortunately
the vocals can prove somewhat wearing – the singer hasn't got a bad voice by
any means, but neither does it deserve such prominence. I'd certainly prefer
the vocals lower in the mix.
Incidentally, members of My Orchard, along with members from The Concretes and Marit Bergman Band, have collaborated as The Soft Eyes, whose Let's Dance To Our Own Beats debut album (released in co-operation with Instant Feelings Recording) features a rather neat acoustic cover of When You Sleep that fans of My Bloody Valentine might want to check out.