The daunting complexity of Time of Orchids’ fifth album, Namesake Caution
, isn’t the most provocative thing about it -- after all, you can throw a rock inside the Cuneiform offices and you’re guaranteed to hit an avant-prog quartet practicing a 5/4 over 13/8 groove in mixolydian mode. Nope, it’s the tender, cloudlike vocal harmonies, which waft through Time of Orchids’ Byzantine rhythmic temples like the scent of fresh-baked apple pie, that give Namesake Caution
its distinctive feel. These languorous choral masses may not yield any memorable melodies, and the words sung (e.g. “Run amok/ in angle/ thrive portions/ quaff”) work better as vessels for sound than meaning. But they do soften the angular edges of each Rock in Opposition-flavored track, making Namesake Caution
’s considerable mysteries that much more pleasurable to unpack.