Orbit Service

Helmet Room, 2004

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


A soundtrack for the dying world? Yes indeed. Presenting...the music of Orbit Service.

Twilight is a good metaphor for the music of Orbit Service. To try making sense of it, much like the time of day before sundown, the album guides the living distressed into a place that is dark, lifeless and peaceful. The best part of Twilight is that though gravely disturbed, it keeps this dissonance confined well within its own realms, never burdening the listener with pain and suffering.

Gloom has always been one of the coolest aspects of indie music, and the Brits have perfected this art of creating magic out of moroseness. Though hailing from Colorado, Orbit Service sounds like a band from Manchester. This is not meant to be taken in the wrong sense, because Orbit Service does not imitate the Brits as observed in the current trend of New Wave-resurrecting newbies; it only possesses the kind grief and poignancy that has been looming over the British underground scene like a dark cloud ever since Pink Floyd released my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Dark Side Of The Moon.

Twilight is an album of droning atmospheric music, which is driven mostly by quaint instruments like guitars (a lot of suicidal acoustic ones), basses, drums, piano, organs and strings. The vague and convoluted synthesizers take a backseat on the music by this band, providing only gloomy surreal sound effects, serving as secondary instruments.

The beginning track of the record "Start Dreaming" fades in with a trumpet knell, which slowly melts into a bone-chilling sluggish riff played with the aid of an acoustic guitar. Then blends in the most slothful drum-beat ever thumped, and then come in the vocals that resembles The Clientele's Alasdair MacLean in his most resentful mood. "Yeah, I am dreaming to save my life" is the punch-line of the song, and you can figure out how the record sounds and feels like.

The moody instrumental pieces move between creepy ambient sounds ("High Orbit" and "Sad Syrup") to beautifully sullen Radiohead-esque piano pieces ("When Everything Was Dead"). At times, the influence of Floyd is only too apparent ("The Seven Rays"), and so is the inspiration from early Cure during the Faith/ Pornography phase ("Down Again"). Still, the band ends up with a sound that is very much its own.

Twilight is a record of mournful music. But, the group's heavy usage of natural instruments makes this music sound real, humanand hopeful. This is scary, because the surrealistic world weaved by the band makes the choice of death much more attractive and painless than the choice of life, which it promises too. This is music to soothe the suicidal tendency in you; and also to stir it up.

[For more information on Orbit Service, visit them at]

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2005 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Helmet Room, and is used for informational purposes only.