Photo by Drew Bennett
A highlight of Maggot Fest this year was Orion’s Saturday afternoon set. Though this was their first Melbourne show, the Sydney five piece come from a solid musical background with members from Whores, M.O.B. and Oily Boys and so a considerable audience had turned out to the Tote band room early to check their dark and atmospheric punk.
And they killed it. Featuring Yuta Lagen from M.O.B. on vocals and operating a drum machine, they play a somber but excellent style of punk similar to a darker Monochrome Set or the Fire Engines. Whereas M.O.B. seemed to have moved away from traditional punk and into open-ended, exploratory noise rock with guitar and synth, with Orion there is a clear focus on the song, vocals, melody and lyrics.
One of the first releases from Paradise Daily, a new label run by Jaz Brooking from Destiny 3000, Orion’s demo cassette has run out after a short run but 20 more copies are being made this week. In the meantime listen to the tape below and read a short interview with Yuta.
Noisey: Your set at Maggot Fest was great. Sorry it was so early. Your music seems quite dark. Was it weird playing with sunshine streaming though the window?
Yuta Lagen: I think given the circumstances that we are a new band I was surprised to see the amount of people that were there to watch us. The ray of natural light didn't seem to distract us but my hangover did.
“Sexy Alien” blew me away. For a gig that was full of loud punk bands you actually sing. Is this the first band where there seems a deliberate approach to vocals and lyrics?
I was in a band when I was bout 16 or 17 with Al Haddock [M.O.B.] where it involved a bit of singing but I was way too young to be writing songs like that and singing with passion. I needed to experience certain things for myself and to understand the nature of writing real pop music.
I especially like the vocals on “Turbulence”. They just seem to sit right with Dizzy’s bass line.
"Turbulence" is the first song where it developed from a jam. It was the first song that every member of the band had come up with something on the spot. It just happened so naturally and that chemistry has helped us to write songs easier and better.
It’s probably not warranted but no doubt some will draw comparisons to Merchandise’s Carson Cox.
I personally don't see that much of a resemblance and I think comparing bands is the easier way to describe music. Sure it's inevitable especially now that there is such history of music but people need to listen to the songs more and try to relate to it rather than instantly dismissing it as this band or that band. I understand that Merchandise came from a punk background and moved onto pop but I think they've admittedly lost their punk spirit, which shows in their songs. I think their songs are pompous.
Asking about a band’s name is kind of lame but being named after a constellation seems to suit you. It is named after a star system, and not an energy company right?
It's a constellation that's very much present Down Under. I like the beer as well. Don't know the energy company. I think NASA just announced the name of it's new spacecraft ORION for the expedition to deep space/Mars.
What is coming up?
We are going to record a full length LP this December and January with Laurence Williams [M.O.B.] who also assisted me with recording the demo. Also we will hopefully be playing some shows in the states with Low Life.