Music News

ORB

Can ORB quit its collective day job yet? It depends. In an oversaturated rock market, any interchangeably mediocre band (like this one) occasionally gets the nod. In its current state, however, the quintet not only lacks vision and originality, but needs a name that folks won't confuse with the ambient, electronic dance maestro from the United Kingdom. Democratic to a fault, the Denver-based ORB splits its creative chores between emotive guitarist Scott Laney and robust hide-beater Duke DesRochers. Laney spends too much damn time contemplating his own self-worth ("Survive"), drowning in his own earnestness ("Ophelia") and keeping a straight face while singing lines like "I've got to find my center" ("My Center"). Bad cop DesRochers, meanwhile, writes odes to jet-black hair ("Set Me Back"), outlaws on crotch rockets ("Silver Smoke") and creepy murder ballads with incestuous overtones ("Sister's Guns").

ORB offers little more than soft-rock sensibilities with competent musicianship and a few dragons and elves thrown in. It's new-age Poco meets Lord of the Rings on the adult-contemporary FM dial. Which is not to say that it doesn't have its plain-vanilla moments, too.

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John La Briola