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Dead Swan Edition
Limited to 500 copies world wide
140 gram coloured vinyl
White opaque base with Blood Red splatter.

For the past decade or so, Australian psychedelic rock trio ORB have been dropping some of the heaviest fuzz-drenched psych around. Arriving six years after their last album, the delightful prog/garage hybrid The Space Between, Tailem Bend is a colorful psych-pop gem for the ages. Though it draws from a variety of musical influences, the combination of genres explored throughout the album never feels like pastiche or eclecticism for the sake of itself.

The album opens with a patiently building organ loop and backwards drums to introduce the title track before kicking into high gear with a thick, overdriven guitar riff the band then settles into a slow, bluesy groove, the vocals washed with a waterfall of reverb. “Karma Comes” is a quirky, psychedelic ballad that tells the story of a man finding his way to the other side of depression, sitting firmly within the tradition of great British psychedelic troubadours like Syd Barrett and Kevin Ayers, which ORB taps into perfectly. “Can’t Do That” offers a dramatic change of pace with its gnarly opening guitar riff and uptempo, ‘70s-style hard rock groove, while “Golden Arch” finds the band delving into a 7-minute dreamscape that adds some nice jazz fusion elements to the mix.

Further displaying ORB’s versatility, songs like the lovely piano ballad “Skyclock” and the velvety funk of “You Do” showcase the band’s ability to filter multiple genres through the sonic and textural lenses of the ‘60s (psychedelia, folk) and ‘70s (prog, funk). “Skyclock” does this particularly well, its groovy basslines and funky wah-wah melodies culminating in a gloriously fuzzy guitar solo. The aptly titled highlight “Morph” finds the band experimenting with more backward loops that quickly give way to a head-banging metal tune that sounds like Black Sabbath taken to their trippiest extremes, decades of heavy rock history masterfully condensed into a single track. From the songwriting and production to the instrumentation and mixing, Tailem Bend feels like a trip through time, held together by ORB’s chops, vision, and willingness to playfully traverse eras and blur the lines of genre.