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Orgy Plot Return At RockBar Theater

In Music
Nü Improved: Orgy broke out with 1998's 'Candyass,' and have struggled to remain relevant since. Founder Jay Gordon hopes the group's new EP, 'Talk Sick' will put the band back in the spotlight.

Nü Improved: Orgy broke out with 1998's 'Candyass,' and have struggled to remain relevant since. Founder Jay Gordon hopes the group's new EP, 'Talk Sick' will put the band back in the spotlight.

In the summer of 1998, in the midst of the nü metal explosion, Orgy broke from the pack. Shirking the then-in-vogue look of oversized jeans, overlong shorts and overwide laces, the quartet of eyeliner-wearing dudes from L.A. took their musical and sartorial cues from the new wave and new romanticism movements of the ’80s.

It was a promising but ultimately futile movement. “People move on to other things,” says singer Jay Gordon, Orgy’s founder and last remaining original member. “You just have to roll with it.”

After a decade-long dry spell that ended with the 2013 single, “Grime Of The Century,” the band’s new EP, Talk Sick, sports a house-music pulse while retaining Orgy’s cyber-metal core.

“That’s what this band has been about from the beginning,” Gordon says. “It’s got its (electronic music) part and its heavy part.” But strip away the electro veneer and de-tuned guitars, and you’ve got sophisticated pop tunes. The hook-laden “Wide Awake And Dead” and “G Face”—a reference to the club and date-rape drug, GHB—captures the vacant mien of his fellow Angelenos. Gordon, a native San Franciscan and one-time San Jose resident who’s done his share of partying, says tox screens can miss GHB because it’s out of the system relatively fast. “It’s like the Snapchat of drugs. It scares me.”

Thanks to the double-platinum success of Orgy’s 1998 debut, Candyass—with its lead single, a cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday”—and exposure on Korn’s globe-trekking Family Values tour, Orgy’s hybrid sound looked ready to conquer.

But the group failed to embark on any significant touring behind their sophomore effort, 2000’s Vapor Transmission. That failure coincided with the advent of Napster and major consolidation within the music industry. The combination, says Gordon, dealt a lethal blow to his band. No longer with Warner Bros., four years passed before the independent release of Punk Statik Paranoia.

“I think it just came out a year and a half too late,” he says of the underrated release, which landed with a thud, despite being as hit-packed as Candyass or Vapor Transmission, if less polished. At the same time, guitarists Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck were increasingly distracted with side project Julien-K. Gordon, who owns the Orgy name, decided to soldier on.

Gordon is now planning his band’s triumphant return. It’s full circle for the guy who helmed Coal Chamber’s 1997 debut and remixed the Linkin Park single, “Points Of Authority.” An upcoming Orgy EP, slated for release in early 2016, will feature a bevy of producers, the same way many hip-hop and pop artists do today. “I didn’t plan it that way,” Gordon says. “I just get bored really quick.”

Orgy bring their pulsing, cyber-metal sound to RockBar Theater on Aug. 14. More info.

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