Adore // Repel – Empty Orchestra

Adore // Repel, a four-piece from Wakefield, have just unleashed their debut album Empty Orchestra. We gave it a listen.

By Graeme Smith

A mellow intro draws you nicely into Empty. Perhaps a play on the album’s title, there is a minimalism, though it’s far from empty. The lack of sound is a sound.

Any initial feeling that this may be a chilled album are put to the sword by the first fully-fledged track, Months Ago. Reverberating guitars build and build to such an extent you start to wonder if the whole album is instrumental. Then the vocals hit you, growling over the riffs, part-sung part-screamed, perfectly timed.

By halfway through Sticks in the Crow you realise that long intros and bursts of lyrics is Adore // Repel’s style. This is confirmed in Jim Helwig with it’s simple and effective refrain: “no way, no way!” It works for them. On recording it would play well during some hazy booze-fuelled get-together with a few mates. One suspects it translates well to the stage too, inducing swaying and head-bobbing, or throwing yourself around if you’re a little more energetic.

The album’s centre point, the enigmatically-titled //, is perhaps its highlight. The pattern is quite literally disrupted with reverse effects that creates something both beautiful and unsettling. At this point you could easily shut your eyes and pretend you are watching the poignant scene in a Japanese anime film. Secret Road part II keeps this aesthetic going, along with the chanting refrains, and is the track Adore // Repel chose as the album’s shop window, creating an accompanying video.

Adore // Repel are by no means household names but they are gaining a core of appreciative fans. You can now count York Calling among them.

Empty Orchestra by Adore // Repel was released on 14 April 2017.