From the very beginning of Prepare to Greet a Guest, Palace of Oranges reveals an intense amount of energy. Guitar-heavy without being loud, Palace of Oranges concentrates this strength into taut melodies and commanding songs without ever letting go of the liveliness that also surrounds these songs. Even in their more subdued moments, Palace of Oranges always maintains the power of their music.
The sonic atmosphere of Prepare to Greet a Guest has a reflective nature about it, encompassing both the joys and sorrow of life. This is communicated almost solely through the music, de-emphasizing the lyrics and vocals. Long stretches of gentle electric guitars and thoughtful feedback exist on songs like “Rind”, so by the time the vocals begin, the mood of the songs is already firmly established. This is Palace of Oranges’ greatest strength on Prepare to Greet a Guest, giving it a great depth and beauty.
While the vocals aren’t the focus, they display the right amount of sensitivity and thoughtfulness that is necessary for a band of Palace of Oranges’ nature. The lyrics are mostly indistinct, but that hardly matters since Prepare to Greet a Guest doesn’t rely on them for its effect. Although the bits of lyrics that can be caught are satisfactory, with songs like the bright “Around the Quad” they’re almost irrelevant when matched with the music.
Palace of Oranges does a good job of sustaining the ten songs on *Prepare to Greet a Guest*, although at almost an hour in length, it’s almost an exhausting experience for the listener. Their energy isn’t as infectious as it could be, but when *Prepare to Greet a Guest* is broken up into smaller pieces, the individual tracks can get the attention they deserve.
Prepare to Greet a Guest is an exciting release, if for nothing else for Palace of Oranges’ obvious drive and dedication to their music. There are more original bands out there, but few can maintain their level of enthusiasm. Palace of Oranges offers plenty to keep listeners returning to this collection of songs.