Let’s face it, the Toronto stoner-rock scene is past its prime. Not sure if I was even here for its heyday, but from around ’06 to ’08 there were no shortage of heavy bands around town. Nowadays, you rarely hear about any new local stoner outfits…so when one scrapes together the cash for a professionally recorded album, I tend to take notice. Meet Toronto trio Low Orbit, and dig their self-titled debut.
Instrumental intro “Space Capsule” sets the stage with some OTIS-style FX, before “Uforb” gets us into the groove with some space bass and more effects-laden guitar riffs. Bit of a fuzz-rock sound here, somewhat akin to Truckfighters, but maybe a bit more stoned. Oh, and just enough cowbell, BTW.
A thick, chunky bassline begins “Witchking,” a sticky-sweet slice of retrofied stoner doom that brings Ogre to mind. “International Bass Station” is pretty spacey, with some thickly-distorted grooves atop pounding percussion. “Angel Lust” also has a cosmic vibe, with one particular riff that recalls space travel (or something), with shades of Sleep, or even OM.
“Spaceships and Monoliths” is another variation on the theme, but this one’s more mellow, albeit with bits of Black Pyramid. Vocals actually sound somewhat like Danzig, which is interesting… No Danzig to be heard on “Lost,” mind you, tis another rollicking stoner-rock track. “Tree Howl” mellows things out even more, a nice rolling groove with a coupla heavy riffs chucked in for good measure.
Instrumental “Cosmic Wobble” also contains cowbell as part of a steady beat accented by wah and other effects—again, sounding somewhat like an OTIS jam. “The Sloth” is another solid stoner/doom jam; while not a Vitus cover, it has a similar vibe. Again, really diggin’ the bass tones here—hell, all the tones, for that matter.
These guys are having their CD release party on December 20, which is a little too close to Christmas, but hey, if you need a last-minute gift for the bong-smoker in yer basement, you could definitely do worse…