Some might know ORB from their association with King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard’s label Flightless. Others from the Sabbathy jams on EPs Naturality and Birth. Then, of course, there would be the converts which have caught them live in the southern states. Suffice to say The Space Between is their latest. It's an extended player and given some modest improvements it's easily their best.
So far anyway. At their current pace, they seem intent on cutting a new record each year. Sure it might not match up in the Gizzard stakes but it's no lean feat. And it also begs the question, are these guys becoming prolific?
But forget about that for a minute and listen. Sabbath are still a big influence this time around. The ur shamans of protean heavy-psych that they are, their influence looms large. But there’s also elements of cosmic surrealism and studio wizardry creeping in too.
‘I Want What I Want’ and ‘Silver Fern’ toy with early and mid-era Pink Floyd, Barrett era and beyond. There’s a whole lot more but y’know music - art - is impressive. You tend to draw out what you like and it gets intensified.
Where were we but? Oh right, the record. So ‘Silver Fern’ leads into ‘Glitch In The Sky Matrix’ another dirty low end rumbler. ‘Lucifer's Lament’ launches into a jazzier inflection. ‘Stone Fruit I, II, III’ follows suit before propelling the record toward a moment of truly stygian guitar licks. Yet that's hardly the conclusion as the song then, moving back to nowhere the record has been before, closes it all with gunslinging solo.
And that’s the long 'n' short of it but it leaves some interesting thoughts as to where this band and their label are at. In 2017 King Gizzard dropped five records and spaced out. Or went touring overseas. But whatever their current business they’ve left a sizeable hole for Flightless to fill in the meantime, at least as far as releases are concerned. But rather than going inert or consolidating with reissues, the label’s other talents have stepped up.
Not least of them are ORB, but let’s not discount others like Stonefield too. Thumping and thundering Space Between colours the mind, venturing toward inclinations both spacey and crushingly heavy. In its wake comes the impression that ORB are more than ready for a full-length record. Or five.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald