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It’s easy to forget, if you ever knew it in the first place, that one of the best art-rock labels in the country is headquartered right here in our own backyard.
Silver Spring’s Cuneiform Records has, over the past 23 years, built an impressive catalog of music that ignores the boundaries between prog, psych, and jazz.
Once upon a time all of that stuff sitting in the warehouse—such as records by the likes of Soft Machine, Heldon, and the Muffins—must’ve seemed kind of musty. But, nowadays, what with the popularity of everything bearded and obscure, Cuneiform has never been better positioned to capture the attention of the young ‘uns.
To its credit, the label never stopped trying. One of its latest groups, New York City’s Time of Orchids, is an excellent example. The young band is perfectly Cuneiform-y: Its latest release, and first for the label, Namesake Caution, ignores all of the right boundaries.
That, in and of itself, doesn’t make the music new. But if Namesake Caution is anything of a throwback, it’s only because the album is so reminiscent of the major-label debut by Shudder to Think, 1994’s Pony Express Record, an album that ignores plenty of boundaries as well.