By: Geoff Teach
Recently reissued by Rocking America Records, Orion Nine’s “The Econolodge Sessions” is an album of seven songs that truly give a good overall glimpse of the personality of the band itself. Featuring hefty bouts of humor, ass-kicking metal, and even some heart-wrenching, thought-provoking acoustic work with swirling vocals, “The Econolodge Sessions” is an album that is as diverse as it is fun to listen to. If you’ve ever seen Orion Nine live, then you know well how much they like to cuss, drink, and crack “dick and pussy” jokes, however, get to know the guys backstage a little bit, and you realize that it is not surprising when they add songs to their original composition repertoire that aren’t just brutal or vulgarly funny. Sounding something similar to Lamb of God with touches of White Zombie, Orion Nine is a complex groove metal band despite their outwardly clownish attitudes and playful word play, and they are always one that I recommend seeing live, as they put on simply amazing shows.
“The Econolodge Sessions” starts off, not surprisingly, on the funny side with “One Tooth”, a small banjo ditty that evokes thoughts of hicks and hayseed that then heads straight into the heaviest song on the album “The Mediocre Midwest Trendkill” (see what I meant by playful word play?). Moving further along the album, “Battle Cry for a Milkdud” is a groovy, sample-laden rager, but just as you feel like you’re getting a feel for the band, they completely throw you for a loop by dropping in “Kiss the Sun”, a beautiful, “heavy on the reverb” track that draws you in with its powerful vocals and simplistically gorgeous guitar work. Getting back to the groove metal, “Brass Tax” straight kicks your ass, but not being ones to make you think that “Kiss the Sun” was just a drop-in, “V.O.H.” lets you know that it wasn’t. “V.O.H.” is absolutely resplendent, although even on the reissued version, it still sounds like there was some sort of buzzing issue while it was originally being recorded. Still, this the only track on the album that seems to have a blemish, as the final track, “Rick and Burt: The Muscatine Incident” is loud, brutal, and wicked, wrapping up the album in fine fashion. Overall, Orion Nine’s “The Econolodge Sessions” is an awesome album, and one you should indeed check out if you have not already!
You can check out Orion Nine and their music here: