A matter of degrees

<!– Link: Orgy

Vapor Transmission follows in a great tradition of albums like Molotov’s Apocalypshit, The Brilliant Green’s Terra 2001 and Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile.

All of them, save for Terra 2001, sound exactly like their immediate predecessor but don’t possess the same luster.

Apocalypshit is the same blistering rap-metal Molotov offered on ¿Donde jugaran las niñas?, and The Fragile is just a longer, meandering version of The Downward Spiral. Only Terra 2001 improves on its predecessor, The Brilliant Green, while sounding exactly the same.

Why is that?

Pretty much, it boils down to hooks. Terra 2001 had better hooks than The Brilliant Green. The same goes for Vapor Transmission and Candyass — the latter album had better songwriting.

That’s not to say Vapor Transmission isn’t likeable. In fact, there’s something downright appealing in how Orgy pillages New Wave and glam rock with post-Trent Reznor industrial.

Even if the actual songs don’t quite surmount the bar established by Candyass, fans of heavily synth-processed guitar hooks and pounding layers of thundering drums and drum machines will eat Vapor Transmission up.

And yet, put each album side-by-side, and it’s hard to even tell the difference twixt the two.

Jay Gordon still sounds like Marilyn Manson would if Manson could hold a note. The choruses of the songs still possess a flair for the dramatic. And no instrument on this album isn’t somehow put through some sort of effects processing. The studio is still as much of an instrument for Orgy as the guitars, bass and drums themselves.

It’s a matter of degrees, really. Candyass is only slightly better than Vapor Transmission, and since Candyass was downright likeable, it follows that Vapor Transmission has its own appeal as well.

All that to say: go ahead and buy this album if you’re a big fan of Orgy; use caution if you just bought Candyass to get the cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday.”