REVIEW: ORB BIRTH CD/LP (CASTLE FACE, 2016)
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 Meadow, Sleep's Holy Mountain. (–Allan)