Time Travelling Blues

Orange Goblin

Rise Above Records / The Music Cartel, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/27/1999

How seriously could someone take a band with a name like Orange Goblin?

The answer: hopefully pretty serious. Their second album Time Travelling Blues shows off a band who are still growing as a unit, but who have great potential once things completely gel.

This British quintet - guitarists Joe Hoare & Pete O'Malley, bassist Martyn Millard, vocalist Ben Ward and drummer Chris Turner - sound like a cross between Smashing Pumpkins and Monster Magnet, with just a touch of Black Sabbath and The Cult thrown into the mix for flavor. Sound like an interesting mix? It is - although the road to Orange Goblin's success still needs a little surfacing.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

When this band is firing on all cylinders, they are absolutely incredible. Tracks like "The Man Who Invented Time," "Solarisphere" and "Lunarville 7, Airlock 3" suck you in with powerful rhythms, catchy guitar riffs and strong vocals. More than once, Ward's vocals sounded a lot like Ian Astbury - something I happened to find pleasant.

And anyone who thinks that the music on Time Travelling Blues is going to be stoner music has been reading the bio too closely. In fact, this album is made up of some solid rock performances that dare to skirt the edges of the hard rock genre without losing its own unique angle. This isn't an easy feat for any band, especially one that has been together only four years, but they accomplish it.

Complaints? Really, there's only one - while it's easy to get sucked into Time Travelling Blues, there are times when it's just as easy to allow the music to drop into the background as your mind wanders. Now, maybe that's how Orange Goblin intended it to be - after all, this is a band who proudly proclaims that they were born too late. But in my book, getting distracted in songs like "Shine" and "Blue Snow" isn't always a good thing; the listener could miss some great performances without even knowing it. (Of course, the benefit for Orange Goblin is that Time Travelling Blues is an album that begs for multiple listens, something you'll be happy to oblige in.)

While I normally rant against "bonus" tracks, I'll concede that Orange Goblin did it right. Following immediately after the title track ends - no 20 minutes of silence, no 50 three-second empty tracks - they kick in to a giggle-infested session where they try to lay down a basic song. You could argue that this is just wasted time that could have ended up on the cutting room floor - but I kind of found it fun to listen to.

Time Travelling Blues is an album that dares to remind us that music should, first and foremost, be entertaining - even fun - to listen to. With just one more coat of paint, this band should be ready to conquer some serious territory.

Rating: B+

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© 1999 Christopher Thelen 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 Rise Above Records / The Music Cartel, and is used for informational purposes only.