CD Review

Orbit Service – “Songs of Eta Carinae”

By Marcus Pan

Songs of Eta CarinaeMy initial spin of this a few days ago left me thinking that Orbit Service are trying too hard to sound like Pink Floyd, but aren't adding enough of their own selves to the project. This tends to come off sounding more like a flaky rip off of previous creations than its own entity in the rock-experimental genre. Today I will give it another chance, knowing full well that sometimes things take time to stand out and need a chance to show you what makes them special before being dismissed.

The tribal rhythm of the opening Wolves is interesting if a bit stock. Backing melodies of Wolf are nice and strange. The vocals have a nasal/whiny quality to them that remains with us for most of Songs of Eta Carinae. Show of Hands is nice also, with its slow loping movement and forlorn trappings. But I'm still waiting for Roger Waters to show up – it's not differing or new enough to call itself merely influenced by Floyd; it's make-up is so similar Orbit Service are nearly a tribute band.

On A Hallucination, vocals are not as whiny, but has trouble hooking up with the melody on any common ground. Asphyxia pushes the bar of length at over eleven minutes, opening with an edgy bass movement and strange-placed swigs of colorful sounds. Very off kilter, the best track on the album so far as Orbit Service finally take the Floyd influence and infuse their own blend of strangeness into it. It didn't have to be over eleven minutes long, however.

The Truth Eludes Me is one of the whinier (vocally) parts of Songs of Eta Carinae. The vocals are so close to The Wall that one wonders if it's a bonus track they forgot to include. As we roll into Sparrows we're fighting the doldrums a bit, raging against the dying of the interest. After Closed Circuit, a slow otherworldly dirge, comes Halo, a stronger rock anthem, again a similar progression to The Wall.

I just can't get over the feeling that Orbit Service are a Pink Floyd tribute band...they've allowed music from other outfits to infuse them to such an extent that they're indistinguishable at times. Some might argue that's a good thing – but if you're going to be creating new music, do it as a new group rather than a rip off of an earlier model. I have no problem with taking influence from Roger & Syd – there's a reason that The Wall is certified 23x platinum after all. But you'll have to show a little bit of your own influence next time as well.

Contact Information:
Beta-lactam Ring Records
Post: POB 6715, Portland, OR, 97228, USA
Phone: (503) 827-4142

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