Think about a few ways you used 12 minutes today. You might have nodded off at your computer, made a sandwich, scrolled through blogs, or picked your nose. Most of us don't just waste minutes but hours idly gazing during commutes or waiting to get out of meetings. Time seems like an endless commodity, when it is really precious.

Gridlink is one of the most paradoxical bands on the planet. They take seemingly forever to write and record albums (three years since the masterful Amber Gray (review)). Yet those end before you realize how good they are. Part of this is because band members are scattered around the world. The rest may have to do with a relentless focus on quality, a desire to only record music that is worth hearing. Both Amber Gray and Orphan clock in at about 12 minutes apiece. But those are 24 special minutes.

What makes Gridlink special is their ability to create resplendent music with minimal time and space at breakneck speed. Orphan rushes past in a blur, but on repeat listens care and thoughtfulness are evident. Listen to the guitar parts on "Dar Al-Harb" and pay attention to the craftsmanship. It's staggering.

That focus on craft extends to both packaging and lyrics. Orphan is available in a digital edition with a deluxe slipcase; another option is the 180g 45rpm vinyl LP edition of both Amber Gray and Orphan from Hydra Head (already sold out).

Everything on Orphan deserves to be there. It’s proof that less is indeed more.

— Justin M. Norton

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"Dar Al-Harb"

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Amazon (MP3)
Amazon (CD)

Amazon (LP)

Relapse (CD)

Hydra Head (CD)

Hydra Head (MP3, FLAC)

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