Orbit Service - "Songs of Eta Carinae"
(Beta-lactam Ring Records 2006, BLRR mt100p)
From Aural Innovations #34 (August 2006)
Denver, Colorado's Orbit Service weaves a dark web of sound. The songs on Songs of Eta Carinae are definitely of the structured variety, but the Orbit Service style of space rock is not about jamming, it's about song writing. But more than that, what it is really about is atmosphere, and the album has plenty of that to spare, especially on near ambient tracks like Phase Cancel. But for the most part, the atmospherics swirl and float beneath the songs, oozing into every nook and cranny of the music. The vocals are dark, and sometimes melancholy. On their promo sheet, one of the influences the band lists is The Legendary Pink Dots, and that is exactly what I thought of when I first listened to the album. But there's less of the English quirkiness of The Dots in Orbit Service's sound, more of an emotional intensity, like every word sung is coming out some kind of desperation or despair, while those ever present atmospherics ebb and flow, distant piano notes echo, and jagged guitars wash through the mix like gloomy ocean waves. They also list early Pink Floyd as an influence, and I hear that too, but this is by no means retro-psychedelia. By avoiding the now clichés of that genre, Orbit Service moves forward with a new kind of brooding, shadowy and emotional space rock, entirely modern sounding in its execution.
For more information you can visit the Orbit Service web site at: http://www.orbitservice.com.
Visit the Beta-lactam Ring Records web site at: http://www.blrrecords.com.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald