Orchid (hardcore punk band)

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Orchid - Stierch.jpg
Jayson Green (front) and Jeffrey Salane (back) performing in Bloomington, Indiana in 2000
Background information
OriginAmherst, Massachusetts, U.S.
Years active1997–2002
Associated acts
Past members
  • Jayson Green
  • Will Killingsworth
  • Jeff Salane
  • Brad Wallace
  • Geoff Garlock

Orchid was an American hardcore punk band from Amherst, Massachusetts. Often considered one of the pioneers of screamo, Orchid combined an extreme yet emotionally complex sound with a cerebral aesthetic. Active from 1997 until 2002, they released several EPs and splits as well as three studio albums. The band consisted of Jayson Green as lead vocalist, drummer Jeffrey Salane, guitarist Will Killingsworth and bassist Geoff Garlock.

In 1999 Orchid released their first record Chaos Is Me and a year after in 2000 released Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! In July 2002 they released their third studio album Gatefold and later in the year, in September, Orchid released a compilation of both their first and second albums onto CD containing all 21 tracks from both. After the release of both they split up. Posthumously, in 2005 Orchid released Totality, a compilation album comprised all of 24 tracks from out of press and hard to find B-side and split EP material previously only available on vinyl.[1]


The band was formed while Jayson Green, Will Killingsworth, and Brad Wallace were studying at Hampshire College, and Jeff Salane was attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst in early 1998. The majority of their discography was released on vinyl records which they often shared with other bands. There were three full-length (by their standards) records released: Chaos Is Me, Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! and the final Self-Titled release (often called "Gatefold" after its packaging), all on Ebullition Records.

Towards the end of their lifespan, the final line-up of Orchid had formed various side-projects, with vocalist Green, bassist Geoff Garlock and drummer Salane forming the band Panthers. Guitarist Will Killingsworth played in the band Bucket Full of Teeth and worked on Dead Air Studios, his recording project based in Amherst, MA, where the band recorded their final album. They had previously recorded at Godcity with Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. Orchid played their last shows in a number of cities during the summer of 2002, the last of which was on July 9, 2002 at The Advocate in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, where they played with Sinaloa and the band Wolves, who had former Orchid bassist Brad Wallace playing guitar for them.

Killingsworth continues to run his own label, Clean Plate Records, whilst his band Bucket Full of Teeth released several records, including a full-length LP on Level Plane Records before he formed the band Ampere, who are still active. Green, Garlock, and Salane continue to play in the band Panthers, who have released two full-length albums and an EP. After Wolves finished, Brad joined Transistor Transistor to play guitar, who also recently released an album on Level-Plane. Jayson Green later formed a hardcore punk supergroup named Violent Bullshit, with members of Black Army Jacket and the Fiery Furnaces.[2] Jayson Green, Will Killingsworth, and Geoff Garlock currently play together in the band Ritual Mess.[3]

Style and legacy[edit]

Orchid's musical style, which has primarily been described as hardcore punk and screamo, is highly dissonant, fast and chaotic.[4][1] It combines the melodic and poetic approach of post-hardcore[5] and emo[6] with the extremity of powerviolence (a fusion sometimes termed emoviolence) and grindcore.[6][7] Orchid was known for their well-conceived literary approach to lyrics which are of a personal nature, even more than other screamo bands.[8] Their lyrics make reference to Anna Karina, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer & the Frankfurt School, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Attali, Guy Debord, and other aspects of European critical theory and culture.[9] But their music also includes melodic elements, violins, and brief snippets of modern classical music. Italian site "Emotional Breakdown" gave a positive review of Orchid's compilation album Totality, saying: "[Orchid] are the concentrated essence of the most poignant music you can imagine: the vocal cords that are pulled until they tear, the music sounds dark and desperate. They possess all these characteristics as the undisputed masters they have taught many proselytes, in all of their cynical splendor."[10]

Orchid is considered a prominent and quintessential band in screamo.[1] Orchid are considered legends in the emotional hardcore scene primarily due to their debut album Chaos Is Me, which left "a huge crater that was their influence".[11] Lars Gotrich, when writing for NPR music credited Orchid alongside bands Pg 99, Circle Takes the Square and Majority Rule as being prominent influences on emotional post-hardcore.[5] In January 2012, Canadian post-hardcore band Silverstein released a sixth studio album titled Short Songs, which included a covered Orchid's "Destination: Blood". The cover was included on a second disc of covers of, in the band's opinion "classic punk songs" which were all less than 90 seconds in length.[12][13]


Final line-up[edit]

  • Jayson Green – vocals, keyboards, percussion (1997–2002)
  • Will Killingsworth – guitar, keyboards (1997–2002)
  • Jeffrey Salane – drums, percussion (1997–2002)
  • Geoff Garlock – bass (1999–2002)

Past members[edit]

  • Brad Wallace – bass (1997–1999)


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! + Chaos Is Me CD (Ebullition, September 10, 2002)[15]
  • Totality (Clean Plate, CD January 15, 2005, Vinyl 2014)[16]

EPs and split records[edit]

  • We Hate You Demo Cassette (Self-Released, 1997)
  • Orchid / Pig Destroyer Split 7" (Amendment, 1997)
  • Orchid 7" (Hand Held Heart, 1998)
  • Orchid / Encyclopedia Of American Traitors Split 7" (Witching Hour Records, 1998)
  • Orchid / Combat Wounded Veteran Split 6" (Clean Plate, 2000)
  • Orchid / The Red Scare Split 7" (Hand Held Heart, 2000)
  • Orchid / Jeromes Dream Skull Record (Witching Hour Records, 2000)[17]


  1. ^ a b c Anchors (December 27, 2005). "Punknews.org Orchid - Totality". Punknews.org. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  2. ^ Ryan Duffy (August 8, 2008). "NEW YORK - VBS IS VIOLENT BULLSHIT". Vice Magazine. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  3. ^ Zachary Lipez. "Listen to a New Track by Orchid Spinoff, Ritual Mess". Vice Magazine. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  4. ^ "Orchid". NTS. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Gotich, Lars (August 17, 2011). "pg. 99: A Document Revisited". NPR. Retrieved December 30, 2011. [...]there's a renewed interest in the emotional post-hardcore that bands like pg. 99, Orchid, Circle Takes the Square and Majority Rule pioneered, mostly by an audience that was far too young to hear it the first time around.
  6. ^ a b Greg, Pratt (22 September 2010). "Altered States, Grindcore Special part 2". Terrorizer. United Kingdom: Miranda Yardley (181): 43. Another interesting sub-subgenre was this strange crossover of first-generation emo and grind. Bands like Reversal of Man or Orchid may not have stood the test of time, but it was a pretty cool sound at the time and one that was pretty uniquely American
  7. ^ "Subcity // Shows // Dance Tonight, Revolution Tomorrow!". Ebullition. Retrieved 2011-05-21.
  8. ^ Butler, Blake. "Chaos Is Me - Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  9. ^ Orchid, Dance Tonight, Revolution Tomorrow. Allmusic Guide. [1] Access date: June 17, 2008.
  10. ^ "Emotional Breakdown - Recension/Orchid - Totality" (in Italian). Emotional Breakdown. Retrieved 2009-10-20. Italian: "[Orchid] trovate concentrata tutta l’essenza della musica più straziante che possiate immaginare: corde vocali tirato allo spasimo fino a strapparsi, suoni cupi e disperati. Ovvero tutte quelle caratteristiche che loro, da maestri indiscussi, hanno insegnato a tanti proseliti e che qui troviamo in tutto il loro cinico splendore."
  11. ^ "Orchid - Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! (album review)". Sputnikmusic. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2011-05-21.
  12. ^ Paul, Aubin (December 1, 2011). "Silverstein album features Rise Against, Propagandhi, Anti-Flag, Swellers members". Punknews.org. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  13. ^ "Silverstein's "Short Songs" Now Available For Pre Order". Hopeless Records. December 1, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  14. ^ "Interpunk.com - Gatefold". Interpunk.com. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  15. ^ "Interpunk.com - Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! + Chaos Is Me". Interpunk.com. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  16. ^ "Interpunk.com - Totality". Interpunk.com. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  17. ^ "Jeromes Dream / Orchid (3) – Jeromes Dream / Orchid". Discogs. Retrieved October 27, 2011.

External links[edit]