Off Orbit may be from Miami, Florida, but their sound comes straight from the Texas desert expanse where plenty of psych-blues bands have called home. Their three-song debut EP, City Of Wonders, is a quick snapshot into their developing sound.
Opener, and first single, “Vice City,” kicks off with a jumpy guitar intro then evolves into a hippy shake. Moises Jimenez leads the four-piece with scratchy rust-coated vocals. It’s fun and loose and would be the perfect first song to play on a long road trip through the country.
In addition to his gruff vocals, Jimenez plays bass and splashes the recordings with keyboards. Marcos Jimenez mans the guitar, erupting with spacey solos at times appropriate and inopportune. The meat of the songs is due to Jonathan Colorado, on drums, and Angel Cerdeiras, who adds popping Mexi-Cali bongos to the background.
Second song, “Pretty Little Things,” comes in with a rollicking bass line and mimics the party-vibe alertness one experiences right as the drugs start to take hold. When the rest of the instruments slide into the mix everything just feels right. The song is stitched together with elongated effects, but they never overtake the song itself. There is a perfect mix of pedals and instrumentation. It’s easy to hear that the players in Off Orbit are true musicians first, who dabble in atmospherics, and not the other around. That formula will take them far.
The EP concludes with “Interlude,” which is just that. It swims along with layers of instruments, builds up, then drops and leaves the listener very interested to know what comes next.
City Of Wonders is a time-traveling trip to a place when hearty rock’n’roll mattered to the world. There is a druggy soul to these songs, each one anchored by a blues stronghold, something like Billy Gibbons joining Spiritualized for an all night jam session.