Posts Tagged ‘ORB’

Mixtape: This Is Aus

Ok please allow one more year-end indulgence here in the form of a recap mixtape. It should no longer be a surprise that I have a sweet spot for Aussie indie, and as the genre has made up so much of the site’s direction in the last year, I’ve decided to round up some of my favorites into a massive mixtape that should keep you busy for a few hours and serve as a primer to those looking to break the seal on their Aussie pop habit. Plenty of usual suspects arise in the label department here with representation from RSTB favorites Bedroom Suck, Anti-Fade, Lost and Lonesome, Poison City, Hobbies Galore, Milk! Records, Flightless, and Tenth Court alongside internationally friendly harbors like Trouble in Mind, Upset The Rhythm, Share It, Kanine, and Emotional Response. There were plenty of offerings to love this year from the South Hemi, so get cracking on that listen. Click below for tracklist and stream.

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Traffik Island – “17”

One of the standout tracks on the Anti-Fade compilation, New Center of the Universe Vol. 3, this year was a track from Traffik Island. The band is largely the solo output of Zak Olsen from ORB, The Frowning Clouds and Hierophants. While he’s had a handful of singles scattered over the last few years, news today comes of a debut album on Flightless. The pairing makes sense, given ORB’s standing at the label, and first track “17” is a delightfully sunny swath of psych-pop that’s a far cry from ORB’s windpipe crushers. Instead the track, like previous outings from Traffik Island, is a sparkling jangler full of bright harmonies that bring to mind The Free Design, Euphoria, Sapphire Thinkers, or any other manner of the bittersweet brand of sunshine psych. The LP, Nature Strip is out next year and this track gives it a glow of promise. Definitely excited for this.

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ORB

If the dearth of the mighty King Gizzard of late has left you with a hankering for Aussie scuzz and heavy fuzz then ORB’s got you covered in Gizz’s gap year. The Aussies are still pining for the days when Sabbath, Leaf Hound and Blue Cheer were chugging ozone to fuel half-stacks of growlin’ fury, but this time they’re letting some lighter obsessions filter to the front as well. The band’s appreciation of nascent Pink Floyd (before the crack swallowed Syd whole) is prominently on display here along with nods to fellow travelers of the ether Kevin Ayers and Gong.

Occasionally the album reminds me of the great lost psych of Zior in balancing heaviness, heat and meandering space, but there’s also a thread of the Black and White years of BÖC in the mix. While in lesser hands (and even on earlier ORB albums) the sound could devolve into slavish devotion to the force of fuzz but the band have instead created their most nuanced and cohesive album in embracing a wider field of view. The record slashes and breathes, coaxes and cools before summoning all the occult fever on full view in the ‘70s.

No matter how much they lighten the load, though, we’re still all here for at least a few crushing riffs. Thankfully those are still plentiful on The Space Between. From cosmic blues to dirty proto punk, ORB have an arsenal of smoke-choked guitar grit on lock. The hook with ORB is that they’re pulling together the threads of heavy psych into one place, crafting records that have as much reverence for the innovators as they do for latter day refiners of amplifier sickness. The band has never sounded as surefooted as they do right here. This is ORB at their best and its great to see them reach this level.



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ORB – “I Want What I Want”

ORB swings back with another reminder of their crushing psych prowess. Still hung on the halls of Sabbath but starting to weigh nascent Pink Floyd just as heavy, the band’s latest video runs their riffs through a Renn Faire filter. ORB’s always good for a bit of ozone crunch and “I Want What I Want” doesn’t skimp. The choruses are oozin’ evil while the rest of the song floats in a Novocaine haze above the clouds. Feels like this is gonna be another big one for the Flightless alums.



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ORB – “Space Between The Planets”

Must be something in the water, I was just thinking about ORB the other day and here we are with a new single on the docket and an album on the way. “Space Between The Planets” taps right into Zak Olsen’s holster of heavy psych weapons – crushing fuzz riffs, phased space-rock atmospherics and a rumblin’ rhythm section that pounds heavy and menacing as tank treads. The new song locks into this Hawkwind / Sabbath comfort zone and honestly, that’s just what I came for. There’s still room for the bong-rattling basics of prog-psych these days and if the formula’s solid, why shake it too much? The song will wind up the title track of an upcoming LP for Flightless, so keep an eye out because you know there’s some limited, splattered petroleum platters on the way soon.



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RSTB Best of 2017

So this year is drawing to a close, or almost, we’re still a few weeks away from pushing the broken pieces of 2017 into the trash. There’s no real solace from a lot of the events that took place this year, but, independent of any current events, music has been kind to us all this year. These are the records that spent the most time on the turntable over here. Yeah, I know its kind of a lot, but there were far too many good ones that haven’t been getting the shouts they need elsewhere. Lets say this serves as both a best of and a most overlooked in one go. If you enjoy ’em, buy ’em if you can. Don’t do them the disservice of just bumping up the streaming numbers.

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ORB – “A Man In The Sand”

ORB are returning to the fold again, picking up their Sabbath-drenched saddlebags from the the stables of Flightless and Castleface. Though the album proper is drenched in a thick fuzz, shining up some old favorites into truly towering fare, they seem to be leading with an approach that highlights their willingness to bend from the expected lean on doom fuzz. The first track is rightly compared to their labelmates King Gizzard, and while it’s worthwhile knotty psych, it hews too close to their contemporaries’ sound. This one riles up the powerfuzz Syd Barett approach, which actually comes off like an S.F. Sorrow-era Pretty Things b-side. It sits alongside the album’s bong rattlers as a nice bit of respite and gives them some range. For those hoping that ORB still had some power in their pedals, fear not (more on that later). For now, find some joy in Alex McLaren’s kaleidoscopic cut-n-paste video which does the track well.



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