On their brand new album Old Patterns, the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Orphan Donor play often quite blistering but always psychedelically illuminating and exciting screamo/post-hardcore. Spastic freakouts on the drums from project mastermind Jared Stimpfl — who also drums for the sludgy hardcore group Secret Cutter — give way to twisting but gripping melody in an expertly orchestrated back-and-forth throughout this record, which feels like it’s cracking open a glimpse into some kind of great beyond. The spastic chaos packs the hooks, and then the melodies drive in the soundscape’s broad, gripping intensity. Get an exclusive first listen below to the piece in full!
The album sounds like the captured feel of a physically palpable chaos, and there’s an urgent melodic relentlessness blasting through the maelstrom that funnels the disorientation even closer to the chest. It’s melodically swaying, emotionally desperate-sounding post-hardcore at its most wild. The drama consistently feels amplified to maximum effect — “New Patterns,” for instance, features solemn but regally huge surges of melody that feel a bit like the heaving last breaths of some great beast. Those epic sweeps return later too, and by the conclusion of Old Patterns, Stimpfl (who performs everything on this record except for the vocals, which are performed by Chris Pandolofo of Clouds Collide) feels like he’s delivering a true emotional rush.
Photo via Oliver Jones
Check out the music below! The full album drops March 13. Get pre-orders at Bandcamp at this link. Screamo stalwarts Zegema Beach Records are releasing a cassette run of the album — nab pre-orders at this link if you’re in the U.S. and and this link if you’re outside of it. Keep reading for a track-by-track breakdown of this explosive album!
Hamsteria: The opening riff is an old one that sat around for a long time in my head. It makes an appearance on an old release for a moment, but I wanted to expand on it a bit. This release was more expressive in the music, not the lyrics. This song is basically about hamsters ruling Parliament which really — what reality is weirder?
Salvia Is A Bitch: This one feels the most Deftones-ish to me. James Revelle made the video for this one: https://youtu.be/s-F90sgEF0o
New Patterns: I wanted to take the most simple writing approach for one song and this was it. It’s still one of the more effective tracks for me. It’s more so about the struggle to replace old habits with new ones.
Pole Disdain: Another old riff. This one is about a certain group of people’s irrational discourse with the more than useful, literal, poles. Yeah like telephone poles. Apparently some people are disgusted by them and their functionalities. That’s pretty cool… Why not.
Mind State Dependency: This song is about the fear of not being able to create after the decision of sobriety — and this entire endeavor was the result of it: this incredible backup of creativity that was released because of the clarity of thought that came with unclogging my filter, so to speak. This whole release only took me two and a half months from start to finish. It really highlighted to me that I was finally on the right path, and the fear of the loss of creativity was met with just the opposite.
Old Stains: This one is about old friendships you inevitably outgrow. Some people change. Some people don’t. That’s life, so keep trucking, motherfucker.
Planks: This song is about a hilarious Salvia trip report. They became wood amongst friends who also became deck like, and they were trapped together as planks of wood. Hilarious and terrifying.
Body On Fire: What would it be like to be engulfed by flames? This is about that. Though I don’t have first hand experience, some horrific videos I’ve stumbled upon I just can’t shake. So this was my attempt to sum up what it would be like.
Profound Loss: This song pretty much sums up why Orphan Donor exists. I think moreso the second half connects to the little boy inside of me that lost my father at 13 and is just screaming for his dad to come back. It has shaped my entire life into what it is and who I am. There’s still a leftover sense of this dream I still have…he’s home from work but frantically gathering his things to go back, his back is always turned away. This fleeting thing I’m always trying to grab. Donor connects me with this outerworldly thing, where I can merge with it and just be where the heart of human beings belong.