Out of the womb...


Man, it's been like almost three months since I've written a review… Let's ease back into it… Here's something I was super excited to get, the full-length debut on Castle Face from Geelong (Australia) rockers Orb. No, not The Orb, just Orb. No techno here, nope – it's riff-tastic, fat and fuzzy heaviness in early '70s style, from one of those modern-day bands that're all about Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath, nothin' else. Was already into 'em thanks to the cassette, Womb, they put out on Tasmania's killer Heavy Chains Records And Tapes label last year, so it was neat to see Dwyer & Co. scoop 'em up for Castle Face stateside. Maybe that had something do with King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, also bringing the psych rawk from Down Under, being on Castle Face as well, dunno.

Anyway, this is garagey enuff for Castle Face (recorded by dude from Total Control), but much heavier than their usual fare, like I said these guys are all into Geezer Butler-y bellbottomed bass lines and shivery guitar wailin' worthy of Leigh Stephens and/or Randy Holden… The vocals, done in a fairly lackadaisical Ozzy-esque chant-speak style – a bit like Om or the aforementioned King Gizzard really – are perhaps the weakest aspect of this, but that's not a big problem since this band relies more on the instrumental jammage anyway, stuff that sounds f'n awesome when you crank it up, whether they're whomping ass with boot-stomping riffs or getting into loose-limbed groovy grooves complete with breakbeat worthy percussion action. Oh, and then there's the way the disc wraps up with some bleep-blurp sci-fi trippiness, sounding like a stoned Silver Apples, that's cool too.

All in all, Orb's Birth is a fun, fuzz-filled forty minutes for anyone with a predilection for the whole retro-proto-metal thing. RIYL: Fuzz, Blue Cheer, King Gizzard, Dzjenghis Khan, Dead MeadowSleep's Holy Mountain. (–Allan)


  1. Good luck and much success to both of you in your future endevours, keep in touch

    Avi Stoler

  2. It's great to see those familiar reviews again. I must admit I had taken aQ somewhat for granted over the years, looking at it as something that would always be there and it wasn't bad if I ignored it for a while, I could always go back to it. It's only by missing it now that I realise how much it meant for me. But I fully understand why you guys did it and you have my full support here. It's great to have a new place to keep in contact with you both and enjoy the regular music nerding of old. I will just have to do the actual shopping elsewhere I guess.

    Best of luck for you both in the future and I'm really looking forward to seeing that aQ book of reviews and the documentary (although I managed to miss out on the interview for it...)


    1. Thanks for the kind words & encouragement, Wouter!! Sorry you didn't get interviewed...

  3. I've been thinking about you both and your AQ colleagues and hoping you're all doing well. It's great seeing new reviews. I've missed your writing!

  4. Thanks - we'll try to keep 'em coming...